NaPoWrMo #2/30: Trini Thing (Ting)... / by Shanelle Gabriel

Our sorrel is sweet
Jamacians got too much ginger handy
I'm from a place where it's all fine and dandy to give a child puncha cream or a shandy
The liquor us Trini kids get started with
Sweet with a bitter aftertaste
Get an early taste of the islands on ur lips
Ladies carry babies on their hips
Social services
Didn't think it was wrong to have a child up all night for J 'ouvert
Wining down the roadway
Childhood nursery rhymes replaced with lyrics to dollar wine and Nani wine
When u ask the time
It's not "Three," it's "Tree"
Even though we live in NYC
My mom still leaves the backdoor open to let the house get a little breeze
Holding on to Laventile memories
Jones can't compare to Chagaramas beach
Days where daddy told stories of when he used to be a cop
But he'd say he was "a police"
Older tales of sneaking to pick mangos off the neighbor's tree
He fell down and he lick up he knee
The hospital wasn't free
So granny knew the trick
Pour some rum upon it to clean it
My aunt would stitch cuts in the house
When adults talked
Lil pickney children wouldn't dare open their mouth
Grown folks bizness
Different days, different times
Before the word chillin was invented
People limed
You didn't go over there
You went "Ova so"
At night you had 3 options
You could shower, bathe in the tub, or wash up with a basin and soap
Moms would prod and poke
With deodorant sticks
Drown necks in talcum powder
Never see a Trini with their face lookin sour
We're a pleasant people
A laidback kinda island
To live a long, happy life you need at least one Trini friend
Ladies be careful
Cause bwoy, we got some sweet-talking men.
Smooth like leather gators, a linen suit with a tan fedora to match.
Fellas, Trini women got some mouths on them
We solicit opinions take it or leave it
It's no secret that if you tell us a secret
We can't keep it
You call it nagging
But we're just "reminding" you
To do whatever it is you said you would do
It's a Trini thing
I'm first-generation American
Raised singing
"Country road, take me home.
To the place
Where I belong. 
Back in San Juan,
On the Pritzgar 
Take me home 
Country road"
Memories of places I've never been
I guess Trinidad's in my blood
Or I'm just Trini to da Bone