Today I…was sent a poem by my friend Nadelle, prompted by a conversation we had at work. We were talking about mealtimes and what we called them. When I ask “what’s for tea?” rather than “what’s for dinner” or “supper” do I give away my council house, 1960s roots? This is the poem by Valerie Bloom
Wha Fe Call I’
Miss Ivy, tell mi supmn,
An mi wan’ yuh ansa good.
When yuh eat roun 12 o’clock,
Wassit yah call yuh food?
For fram mi come yah mi confuse,
An mi noh know which is right,
Weddah dinnah a de food yuh eat midday, Or de one yuh eat a night.
Mi know sey breakfus a de mawnin one,
But cyan tell ef suppa a six or t’ree,
An one ting mi wi nebba undastan,
Is when yuh hab noh tea.
Miss A dung a London ha munch 12 o’clock,
An dinnah she hab bout t’ree,
Suppah she hab bout six o’clock,
But she noh hab noh tea.
Den mi go Cambridge todda day,
Wi bad dinnah roun’ bout two
T’ree hour later mi frien she sey,
Mi hungry, how bout yuh?
Joe sey im tink a suppa time,
An mi sey yes, mi agree,
She halla, “Suppa? a five o’clock,
Missus yuh mussa mean tea!”
Den Sunday mi employer get up late,
Soh she noh hab breakfus nor lunch,
But mi hear she a talk bout “elevenses”
An one sinting dem call “brunch”.
Breakfus, elevenses, an brunch,
lunch, dinnah, suppa, tea
Mi brain cyam wuk out which is which,
an when a de time fe hab i’.
For jus’ when mi mek headway,
Sinting dreadful set mi back,
And dis when mi tink mi know them all,
Mi hear bout one name snack.
Mi noh tink mi a badda wid no name,
Mi dis a nyam when time mi hungry,
For doah mi ‘tomach wi glad fe de food,
I’ couldn care less wheny mi call i’.
I was delighted to find that the author is on wordpress and there are some clips online of her reading and performing her work. Thanks Nadelle!