Dwee, you bin single bout twinny yers.
Ain had no offsprings you know of, righ?
Zackly. Don’t want parts to that, so I take
steps tuh play safe. If it would happen, I try
tuh be respeckful. I’m bless mah parents stayed.
Gah chuh. Muss be a naggy bruise tuh nevah fine
who fathuh you. Ah’m sitt’n ownis poach en boys
ramblin bah mah house talking all loud “son” nis en
“son” nat, ez if claimin one nuthuh. Well, . . . lotsuh
men boast, “Mah Mama mah fathuh too.” But rill up
close? Few don’t confess deep scahs bout bein leff.
One prahlem is offen hah and why a dude commit
influince who he become. She may of hookim
gitt’n pregnen. Uh dey frisky-risky doin setshulls.
Den doan wannuh kill a fecus. Uh she pressin
junyuh deserve his fathuh lass name. So from
jump he ain up fuh playin Daddy. Sacruhfice
tahm, cash, peace en quiet. Doin ez he please.
Yet, jess like mah nephew Joddy en his latess,
dey go move in a space. One, two yers pass.
Crumbcrunch Talkie Walkie stah whinin en
makin demans. Daddy ain custom no tottluh boss.
Mama she feezin, “Dis baby duh baby mah baby”
til Daddy strannid at thir fiddle. Ax tuh hissef,
“Hannuh hell Ah trap innis mess?” Decide, “So
keep yuh chile!” Nah he wannuh appeah too
much man tuh blame lil son. So he scrabblin
tuh cuse Mama whah he gottuh vacuate. Ah’m
makin sinse? Hunh? You . . . you folluh me Dwee?
Know jus how it go. Seen it all my life. Mama
is stuck wit the raisin. Files chile support. Gits
drib-drabbed. Judge is pestrin pestrin. Then
Daddy’s checks garnishee. He so rankled ducks
Mama an the son, who cramped tween grownups
hate one nuthuh. Bad news. Mainly cause innuh
snap wiggly sperms dived thew anticipat’n aigs
So, in bout twinny-fi yers, less say, same son
gah leff, maybe he triflin like his natchul fathuh.
Dis tahm he bakin babies den makin track. You
seen eem success-type men fall back own nay
muthuh, righ? Yet hannicap roun wimmin dey own
age? This town got squadrons of um. Tow-tall-lee
dependint. Lottuh chin music an jelly backbones.
Thout havin fathuhs in nay life may nah study hah
a couple ride whahevuh come downuh pipe.
In-laws. Outlaws. Meddlin. Loss job. Quarls.
Jealous. Disease. Spen stupit. Git wobbly fat.
En migh nevuh learn too seffish uh too damn
mean worsess demons smothuh love en truss!
Free range dude may wannuh take take take,
unsure how much he truly deserve. Wimmin
face him strong? No tellin. He liable tuh pout,
jaw, bluff, uh scram. Eeem fight. An let his childrin
spress affections? Maybe Daddy can’t steady give
back, cause his supply tank very low fuh his self.
Sho wish me ennat wife uh mines could agree
sbettuh, rilly, we nevuh had no kids. Man! Man!
Man! Bandon son. Slike a birf curse clap upunim.
Charles H. Lynch, from Baltimore, Maryland, lives in Brooklyn, New York, and is a Cave Canem Fellow. He enjoys using a variety of voices, as explained in his essay, “One Migh Could Heah They Voice: Conjuring African American Dialect Poems” published in A Sense of Regard: Essays on Poetry and Race (U. Georgia Press, 2015). His doctoral dissertation at New York University explored the lives and works of Robert Hayden and Gwendolyn Brooks. His poems are in anthologies and such magazines as Crab Orchard Review, Black American Literature Forum, Gargoyle, The Saint Ann’s Review, and PLUCK!: A Journal of Affrilachian Arts & Culture.