A Dodgy Bugger!
My eldest brother was very young,
fourteen, when he left school to go
and work in the wop-wops. It’s highly
unlikely he took a tiki tour to get there.
He was a dodgy bugger, my brother: or did
he say that about someone he knew? Mother
said, (she said it often) don’t swear . I nearly
dropped dead the first time I heard my father
swear. Every night as we finished dinner and
been read a chapter from the bible he said “bow
your heads in prayer.”
My parents were stoked, but only momentarily,
the day my brother arrived back on our doorstep
with a bright red sports car. But it didn’t last long;
he just wasn’t the racy sort. It was usually my
other brother up the creek without a paddle. He was
the one mostly in trouble. And he always came out
saying she’ll be right. And it was, ‘cos at eighty four
he’s still going strong. My eldest brother is long dead.
Benita H. Kape © 19.4.2016
Wop wops – middle of nowhere
Tiki tour – to go on a journey with no destination in mind.
Dodgy – someone suspicion or suspect
Drop dead – said with exaggeration at some fearsome surprise.
Certainly not said in the same way we might today say ‘drop dead gorgeous’
Stoked – pleased, almost excited about something
Up the creek without a paddle – in trouble. We had plenty of small
running creeks where we lived.
She’ll be right – meaning the outcome will probably be good, or
don’t worry about it
These terms and saying are still used by Kiwis but some of them less so.
And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore. My grandfather and mother, in particular, used several phrases I’ve rarely heard any others say, and I also absorbed certain ways of talking living in Charleston, South Carolina that I don’t hear on a daily basis in Washington, DC. Coax your ear and your voice backwards, and write a poem that speaks the language of home, and not the language of adulthood, office, or work.