Tro-Tro Pow-Pow (Jamaican Poem)

by James Messam

Long ago when mi y’eye deh ah mi knee, mi used to wear short trousers and mi foot sole grounded, mi used to visit mi granny an mi grand pa.

When evening come granny put on the big Yabba pot and full it with earth food. Mi notice the absence of salting so mi sey, ”Granny yu nah cook noh salting".

Mi granny scratch her head and sey, "Son, ah only we too lib, mi and you grand pa. When mi cook the likkle bickle wi just nyaam it so, so, so. Yu grand pa prefer to save up the money in a the big calabash.

Last week mi really want to test him so when Sunday m’awning come mi get up bright and early and look after him favourite breakfast, bammy and chocolate tea broiling hot with the oil pan the top, but mi noh put one drop a sugar in deh.

Mi set it pan the table and call him. Him bless it and start savour the taste. When him reach halfway through it mi hear him sey. "Rachel di tea could teck likkli bit more sugar".

Mi sey, "Den granny him really drink it without sugar? She sey, ”A soh him used to it so- Soh Soh”

Granny sey, “Anyway mi noh know if like how you deh yah him wi do any betta. Go dung a gully and tell him fi give yu tropance meck yu buy tropance shad.

So mi hop skip and jump till mi reach de guinep tree trunk whey him a sharpen him belly woman cutlass and sey "Gra—an pa granny s-ey fi gi me tro-pance- m-ek mi buy t-rop-ance shad”.

Him look up wid a frown an wipe him forehead wid him big finga. Mi utterance seem to startle him, for him raise himself up and look mi straight in a mi ‘yeye and sey,” Tropance shad! Wholla tropance shad? You a go uppen shap? Bway you mad? Look how tropance shad nuff?

Grand pa sey "Any way tell her fi look ova de creng –creng him see de dutchy wid some oil kibba up wid coco leaf whey mi use last week, him fi go dung a di tro –tro patta and pick two big tro-tro she fi cook dem till dem soft and meck tro- tro pow- pow.

An mi grandpa nebba tap 'naam tro- tro pow- pow till him deaf.

Ah yah yahh.

© J Messam
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