The Immigrant: “Don’t Speak English, I” (poem)


“Don’t Speak English, I”

by Luis Samuel González


Father told me, “Tell them…”

“I don’t speak English,”

because I understood the world in Spanish.

On a school day morning and acutely shy –ahem, ahem…

while reinventing grammar I told them:

“Don’t speak English, I.”

It was only close to right. I could have just died!

But like an immigrant who would not be defeated,

my courageous little mouth, lips and tongue repeated:

“Jes! Don’t speak English, I.”



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