I SAY TOMATO.

We parry with nuance, with colour and choice
in the mosaic press of a popular voice,
but we channel incursion, murderous trade,
the ventures that twisted the lexical braid

of the bawd and the bard, the factor and scribe
whose witness we suckle, whose wit we imbibe
as if it were native and not the result
of plunder and ruin, bloodshed and insult.

We relish this leaven that lets us digress;
we curse and emote, we jibe and confess.
Less do we ponder parts of the world
where flags of our Father, and fathers unfurled,

who tapped as they mined as they pilfered the words
that followed the sea lanes like faltering birds
to nest in a language we wield as our own,
as steeped as it is, as crookedly grown.