Unsettling by Laura Edmondson

Updated: Jul 9

Photo by Matheus Ferrero on Unsplash

Do you find the duality of my speech unsettling?

You should It is intended to be

Unsettling as in uproot your flag and go

Every dropped G and missing copula is a riot

A struck match to log cabins and plantation houses

The “eloquence” you so often praise

Is a symptom of a virus carried on ships

Spread with the crack of whip and later a pen

Marks on the backs (and fronts) of college-ruled paper

Any skill with the masters’ tool is a means of survival

Nothing more

My English when “broken” is done so with care

It is reinvented in a laboratory producing verbal remedies

so quickly you break your neck trying to keep up

Popping the words into your mouths as fast as you can

And when you spit them back out

They’ve soured

Yes, my “English” has been reimagined

Now uncontainable by Oxford or Webster

Each linguistic leap lamenting

My tongue does not serve you

I will not conjugate my soul

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