The Wake
Poems

The Wake

Mi go ah Miss Purlene wake laas nite,
Who tell mi fe lef mi yaad
Cause pere war an cass, cass bruk out
An Purlene duppy bax maas George

Everyting start out bountiful an irie
De mannish wata wuz tekkin life
Maas Matty long neck, cross yeyed bway
Wuz choppin jerk chikin wid im butcha knife

Purlene sista Dassa, wuz tuning up har voice
De curry goat wuz smellin sweet
All ah de man dem ah drap six love
Like ongle Jamaican know fe dweet

Suddenly, dere wuz ah big ole BOOF
Mi heart kin pupalick
Ah bruk mi neck fe si wat ah gwan
Everyting inna mi stomick feel sick

Purlene wutliss, auntie, cousin, nephew-in-law
(John, John we used to call im)
siddung pon Dassa “heirloom” stool
jus afta im drink some Gin

De stool nevva mek fe tek no weight
(an John, John weigh tree-sixty)
it bruk inna tree an fling im dung ah grung
an de stool foot cotch up in im batty

Ah de fuss mi evva si big man bawl
Ah sarry fe im so till
An evrybaddy tan up wid dem mout opin wide
Stella jaw battam touch de winda sill

Prably ef im nevva bawl so loud
Sumbaddy woulda hear
Cause Dassa so bex bout har “antique” stool
She start wispa unda har breat an swear

“Mi have ah good mine mek yuh tan dung deh
right deh so pon de grung”
“ Yuh good-fe-nutten, wutlisss bwaaay”
an she grab de big yaard broom
“Ah forty year now mi have dat stool
mi madda did gi mi fe free
an yuh come yah wid yuh big dutty self
an bruk it up inna tree

Dassa raise de broom fe lick im
(mi nevva know wah fe do)
Mass George git up an grab har han an said
Dassa, let de broom go

Suddenly mi hear wan slap
Loud like thundabolt
Mass George head whip roun sideways
Im knee dem start fe fole

Evrybaddy mek ah rush fe de door
(John, John included too)
Sista Purlene duppy raise up dey said
An bax George good fe troo

Dem trample pon Dassa “heirloom” stool
She bawl an swear so till
(me personal tink sey ah ‘Courts’ she buy it
for mi did si di bill)
Poor John, John went to KPH
Dey operated so till noon
Mi nuh tink im ah go walk straight agen
Im two leg ben like spoon

Mass George yeye dem tuntid an crass
Im hair tan up like spring
Mout wata run dung de side ah im mout
Im maaga dung like tring

As fe me – mi pramiss miself
As mi name Esmiralda Brown
If yuh evva ketch me ah go ah wake agen
PLEASE – lik mi dung ah grung!!!

©Jazz Johnson 4/11/2000

About the author

Jazz Clayton