(taut jeans dancing)

An Anthology of Poetry about Being Young and Growing Up
Table Of Contents
Acknowledgments & Links



Valerie Bloom

Barry madda tell im But Barry wouldn' hear, Barry fada warn im But Barry didn' care. "Don' go ova dere, bwoy, Don' go ova dere." Barry sista beg im Barry pull her hair, Barry brother bet im "You can't go ova dere." "I can go ova dere, bwoy, I can go ova dere." Barry get a big bag, Barry climb de gate, Barry granny call im But Barry couldn' wait, Im wan' get ova dere, bwoy, Before it get too late. Barry see de plum tree Im didn' see de bull, Barry thinkin' bout de plums "Gwine get dis big bag full." De bull get up an' shake, bwoy, And gi de rope a pull. De rope slip off the pole but Barry didn' see, De bull begin to stretch im foot dem Barry climb de tree. Barry start fe eat, bwoy, Firs' one, den two, den three. Barry nearly full de bag and den im hear a soun'. Barry hol' de plum limb tight And start fe look aroun' When im see de bull, bwoy, Im nearly tumble down.
Night a come, de bull naw move,
From unda dat plum tree,
Barry madda wondering
Whey Barry coulda be.
Barry getting tired, bwoy,
Of sitting in dat tree.

An Barry dis realise
Him neva know before,
Sey de tree did full o' black ants
But now im know fe sure.
For some begin fe bite im, bwoy
Den more, and more, an more.

De bull lay down fe wait it out,
An' Barry mek a jump,
De bag o'plum drop out de tree
And Barry hear a thump.
By early de nex' mawnin' bwoy,
Dat bull gwine have a lump.

De plum so frighten dat po'  bull
Im start fe run too late,
Im a gallop after Barry
But Barry jump de gate.
De bull jus' stamp im foot, bwoy,
Im yeye dem full o' hate.

When Barry ketch a im yard,
What a state 'im in!
Im los' im bag, im clothes mud up,
And mud deh pon im chin.
And whey de black ants bite im
Feba bull-frog skin.

Barry fada spank im,
Im madda sey im sin,
Barry sista scold im
But Barry only grin,
For Barry brother shake im head,
An sey, "Barry, yuh win!"

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