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What it means to be Guyanese March 24, 2016

Filed under: Ronald J Daniels,Uncategorized — Leguanite @ 1:34 am
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DO YOU REMEMBER BEING GUYANESE

Do you remember those days when we slept on the floor
On beddings made from clothes we wore no more
We used to block the creases and beneath the door
Or we would wake with ‘draff’ in our eyes for sure
Do you remember those days we rubbed our skin with coconut oil
And for your birthday you got your egg hard boiled
Those were the days we used strictly mosquito coils
Long before the mosquito zapper came into style
Do you remember when grandma used to drag us to church
When we sat through the whole session without learning one verse
Those days when we were so scared to curse
And were so terrified every time we saw a hearse
Do you remember those days we had no electric light
We had to use kerosene lamps in the night
We made such a big deal over the moonlight
We used to talk ‘jumbie stories’ to inspire fright
Can’t you remember being sent to buy quarter pint oil and half pound chicken
And if you sulk-up you would get a good licking
Those days we got skimmed milk from school and we got a good ‘shittins’
Those days we told visitors ‘mommy seh fuh seh she sleepin’
Do you remember pitching marbles for rubber bands
Do you remember playing ‘king pon de land’
You must have played ‘sal out’ and ‘kick in de pond’
Man it brought us so much joy waiting on ‘de ice cream van’
Do you remember hiding the belt and the guava or ‘tambrun’ whip
But even with the pot spoon we would get hit
Did you wet yours or use it hard like brick
I’m talking ‘bout the newspaper you took to the latrine to ‘buss ah *&^$

Do you remember your first tv was black and white
And you would want the battery charged especially for movies on Saturday nights
And when it jumping you would just tap it slight
When the knob broke you used a wire or pliers right
Remember when you used to pee your bed
Get up, change, and roll your cousin, brother or sister in it instead
Back in those days we used to toast stale bread
And whenever mommy bought cheese we’d make cheese spread
Ears were bored with needles and wrapped with thread
Bush medicine was the most common meds
Back in those days such a simple life we led
Oftentimes with mud on our feet we would go to bed
Do you remember when we used to dab the yard with cow dung
When grandma would give us a ‘toops’ of brown rum
Those days we’d go to sleep chewing gum
And it’s all over your head when the morning comes
You must remember the days we played dolly house
We would take turns playing the kids and the spouse
Remember when we would tease some of the kids ‘bout louse
But never meant it as a racial grouse
Remember when we cooked with the coal pot, fireside or the kero stove
And we made tea sometimes with spice, sometimes with clove
We pulled cane from the tractors and jumped on the horse carts the fellas drove
Yes I did all of these things growing up in Grove
Remember when we put our greens in the dew because we had no fridge
When we used two boards to make a bridge
The days we were big on flour and rice porridge
Almost every family had someone working around Matthews Ridge
Remember we bought food in paper bags from the Chinese
We’d ask for extra rice and extra red pork please
Back in those days you’d hear ‘hold a small piece’
Do you remember being Guyanese
Ronald J. Daniels

23rd March, 2016

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