|Becky Mayhew, Young British Poet|
Me Mam had her voice knocked out of her
When they made the move from Up North.
A grand little lass with broad ‘ohh’s’ and ‘aa’s’
Submerged in the South henceforth.
Her mouth spilled air from the fresh green earth
Six year-old lips curling round words
That were seized by a teacher’s firm hand.
It didn’t take long for the North to come out
Like a grass stain lifting in’t wash.
She practised at home, her new southern voice,
Me Granddad said, ‘Eee, you sound posh.’
Soon there was nothing, no trace of the hills,
The cobbles, the spires, or the sea.
Just good southern vowels, rounded and clipped
That seeped through the years down to me.
poem by Becky Mayhew; published online with permission of the author