The Right Way

We talk the same now
but it wasn’t always like this:

as with turning on the
tap / faucet in opposing ways,

how to ask directions for the
toilet / bathroom, or revving

engines of Peace and Love
under a bonnet / hood.

Judgement was in the ‘right’
way to say English words –

my counting of thirdy, fordy; then
turdle as well. Always oarange,

my languid Nebraskan vocal
dulled consonants and stretched

vowels a mouth could not
get around with ease.

But talking the same now is the
‘Right’ way, a politics of

speaking that replaces nuances
of sound for vitriol. The Fascists –

there is only one way to speak this
designation – coalesce in shouts of

the self over care for others. Accent
is no longer a divide, but rich / poor

and truth / lie reside respectively as
a chasm or are indistinguishable:

the two ‘great democracies’
I have straddled for a lifetime

sound the same, but are
no longer what they were.

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