Where your accent was removed they stitched
a scrap of flower-print cotton from a summer frock
sewn with shirring elastic – you can stretch those vowels out
and sound not at all like anyone you ever knew.
Accent is like soil, rock, family.
Where it was taken there’s is a hole.
A virtual laryngectomy was done
And they might as well have cut into your brain.
Patch it with flesh-pink plastic or pirate black.
Accent is like wood-grain, skin-silk, velvet.
The gap closed over with hard scar tissue.
It might crack at screaming pitch, just a little bit
and there’s an oddness you can’t quite give a name to,
as if you’ve come from nowhere, no patch.
Accent is like cast-iron, dog-ears, wear-and-tear,
falls from a tongue tip, lives in the momentary
stopping of a glottis in the quirk of a mouth.
Then it’s a guessing game, where do you come from,
how can you patch it right.
Accent is like river, land, property, like family