Winner of the 2021 DISQUIET Prize for Poetry
The pidgin form of ‘to be’1
A young child, I was privy to hearing this word
in my household, around my uncle and his friends
reminiscent of his schoolboy youth.
A part of a pidgin I could never participate in
for fear that the broken English might
have too much of an essence, might
tarnish my own English.
They would not let me code switch
thinking the pidgin would overtake me