Ode to Words

Been told all my young life long

My words conceal where I come from.

Fellow Jamaicans would speculate

About how I enunciate

With a too-American twang.

Not enough patois to be a yaardie.

 

Settled in the States at thirteen

With sparsely growing self-esteem.

Locals say my speech sounds British.

"Didn't know you spoke the Queen's english."

They demeaned me

With backhanded praise.

 

Their words challenged my ethnicity

Tore apart authenticity

Butchered who I thought I ought to be.

But,

I am who I make of me.

 

I am a poet.

 

These words flow through my ink veins,

Bleeding free onto the blank page.

My heart beats out a new language,

Speaking for the times I went silent.

 

For I am a poet,

My words speak for me.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
My country

Comments

Need to talk?

If you ever need help or support, we trust CrisisTextline.org for people dealing with depression. Text HOME to 741741