Mama Said I Cain’t Have No Company.

We learned Ebonics early. It
came with milk and cookies,
came like a sweet roll melting
in the mouth lasting a lifetime
and never forgotten.
It was a part of the funeral, 
like flowers. A part of eternity
in a wooden box. Learning to speak
was hard enough. Learning to
speak another way made the sense
of confinement touchable as a
crib’s ribs.
Speaking in tongues was the way
to speak without being overheard.
Thought was muted or spoken behind
closed doors. Reality seldom
passed the lips. Ruthless silence
devolved to self-demeaning where
saying a feeling was absolutely
forbidden. Unable to suppress the need
to say, cursing became the venue
for conversation.
Reinforced silence inevitably
damaged the will to say anything.
Scripted against the conditionings
of no, we mastered the art of saying

© allets 2023
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