I'm Jamaican Too
by Alison Barrett Gaskin
(Willow Grove, PA, USA)
Jamaica50 Entry #2 -I'm Jamaican Too (Poem)
They say I'm a Yankee but that is not true
I'm a "Jamerican" tru an tru.
My mother and father are both from MoBay.
I was born in the US, in the state of PA.
My brother was the lucky one "bawn a yard"
To see why I'm jealous isn't so hard.
Being born in a land with such rich history
Jamaican pride is never a mystery!
From Bustamante to Manley, from Quarry to Bolt
Port Royal to New Kingston, Bob Marley and John Holt
Don't forget Sam Sharpe and Miss Lou
And what about the food?
Please don't get me started.
Ackee and salt fish,
Curry goat, mannish water, chicken foot soup,
Rice and peas,
White rice and stew peas,
Is your mouth watering yet?
I'll stop if you say, "Please!"
All right, I think I'll go on,
I could recite my favorite Jamaican food list,
Until the crack of dawn!
Fry dumpling, black cake,
Mackerel and banana,
Mango, tamarind ball, breadfruit, sorrel
Ox tail, fish fried and escoveitch, yam and plantain,
Bully beef, bun and cheese,
Patty and hot cocoa bread!
Oh bwoy, mi haf fi stop!
Mi a dead fi hungry!
All that yard food draw di patwa out of me!
Now, how could I possibly be pure Yankee?
Yes, mi bawn a foreign, this true
But, I have a love for my Jamaican heritage
That daily I renew.
As I look into the faces of loved ones that I hold dear
And reminisce with my relatives both far and near,
About their stories of a land that is so sweet,
That I will no doubt to my child repeat.
So on this fiftieth anniversary of independence of this noble land
I proclaim my allegiance to a nation with blue waters and white sand.
"Out of Many One People" is their motto so true,
Yes, I proclaim that though born American,
I am a Jamaican too.
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