MANGLISH

a poem by Jacinta Ramayah, Malaysia - poetry writer, author, poet

We speak a language called manglish
to us it is normal,
The queen’s grammar is so precise
we’ve made it informal.

‘Come’ is a commanding statement
to you and to me,
A twist of the tongue, a smooth ‘come-lah’
it becomes a plea.

For ‘lah’ is a phrase that is used with
a word to denote courtesy,
“Yes-lah, no-lah, sure-lah, okay-lah and
lah - how can that be?”

Alamak! You know something unfortunate
has happened,
‘I didn’t take it, what’ is not a question but
a refutation.

‘Dropping his water-face’ means you are
embarrassing him,
‘Is that true, ah?’ you're undecided if what he
says is a convincing theme.

Don’t worry when you come over and hear us
talk like this,
It’s not that we don’t understand you,
we’re just mangling English.

1 Jan 2008

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