Sat | Sep 18, 2021

Poetry (1)

Published:Sunday | May 20, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Below is a completely fictional poetic story. The names and events mentioned are products of the author's imagination. Any similarity to real events or names is purely coincidental.

Mix-up

"Yuh pickney a jacket!

Yuh tink wi figet!"

Everyone turned to see Laura Brown

In the square of the town

Beating her chest and jumping around

"Yuh pickney a jacket!"

Again, she screamed.

"Yuh jacket daughta nuh better than mine

True she gone way pan foreign scholaship yuh tink everyt'ing fine

Go look fi yuh pickney right daddy

And stop gwaan like dis likkle accolade mek yuh smaddy!"

The crowd drew 'round,

And soon we realised that this verbal attack is launched at Asha Bonnick,

Who was across the way tending to the flowers on the church grounds

In time for the annual town picnic

"Black an' black cyaan come togedda an' have Indian baby,

Yuh cyaan tek wi fi eediat, miss lady!

Yuh baby might a did bawn black

And a dat yuh tek fi say di baby faada mus be Jack!

But look pon yuh daughta now,

She grow up and the fact seh she a Indian half-breed nuh hard fi miss,

If yuh tink wi blind, yuh a live in di wrong bliss!"

Mrs Bonnick continued pruning and ignored her opponent.

The crowd had grown quite large;

All intrigued by the excitement.

But no one uttered a sound when we suddenly saw Anita Bonnick walking towards us on the street,

By the look of fright on Laura's face, she was not the Bonnick she had expected to meet.

That she was mixed, no one could deny;

From the shade of her skin,

To her long, wavy hair held up by a pin.

There they stood face to face,

Everyone's heart began to race,

But Anita began to speak in a manner marked by grace.

"Mrs Brown,

When I was little, you were known to be the best person to make a wedding gown,

But, apparently, your new vocation is being the town's clown.

A jealous tantrum is not fitting for any adult - even you

Why is it that you try to make my mother blue?

Had you stopped to get your facts right,

Before you came looking for a fight,

You would realise my mother is the half-breed

Her maiden name is Asha Kashvi Banerjee.

A bad detective you are,

but as an actor, you deserve an award,

She is the true half-breed though her skin is black

And Indian features she lack,

What did you really want to accomplish by this tacky attack?"

To Laura we all turned round,

Shame had found its way to her face,

And suddenly the silence was broken when five-year-old Malik cried aloud:

"That is what yuh get fi a come out ya bout yuh a trace!"

- Shelly-Ann Woolery