My accent lingered at bay,
bleaching its skin, hips tucked into a corset,
It cleansed its feet with the salty water
then sat on a boulder, talking to itself,
instructing the tongue how to pronounce,
but it would do otherwise.
‘They will know you got here by boat not bicycle.’
The days spent passing verbs through a needle’s orb,
knitting phrases, the pricking made you kneel
to your toddler self.
I came to send this trouble away.
English is not mine to keep.
From Palm Wine Tapper and the Boy at Jericho (Doire Press, 2022). "Accents" was first published in Writing Home: The "New Irish" Poets (Dedalus Press, 2019).