Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talkin' on the Porch

Back then I thought ever'body talked like us.
I'd heard the same kind of talkin' ever since I was born,
and then settin' on the porch in the evenin' with Daddy and Momma,
Mamaw and Papaw, Aints and Uncles, all talkin' and tellin' stories.

Us kids would play in the yard ketchin' lightnin' bugs, or ridin'
our bicycles aroun' the house. The grownups would set on the porch
and thay'd start talkin' and then thay'd all laugh. I'd ride my bicycle close
to the porch and I'd wonder what thay was'a laughin' at.

Well, the sun would start to go down over the mountain and I'd act
like I was gettin' tard. I'd go set beside my Momma or one'a my Aints
on the settee. I'd lay my head in thayr lap and close my eyes and listen
to them and I thought ever'body talked thataway, rich and hearty, funny and wise.

"They was a snake in the outhouse he took a hoe to it, everwhat happened to them people
that lived up the road a piece, the jarflys are loud this summer, how big'a mess'a beans
did you git outta that pokeful, them Kennedy's, I cleaned all the winders t'day,
I'm a'goin' to trade t'mar do you need to go, somethin's dead somewheres I can smell the kyarn."

"The truth'll stand when the world falls, the kids gommed up the kitchen right after I cleaned it up,
George Wallace, Gov'ner of Alabama, and we might could tare that part'a the floor up and put new down,that was some good okry we had for supper, Martin Luther King, them Beatles from England. Hey kids! stay away from the road now, and don't be ridin' so fast off that sidewalk."

"I couldn't git to sleep last night to save my life, my piller felt like it was full of rocks,
He got $2 in the mail today with a note sayin' I'm sorry I stole your dictionary when we was in school no it wadn't signed, once I found all my Christmas presents and then told Mother ever'thing I wanted and she asked me you've been lookin' ain't ye? C'mere kids and getchuns a banana popsicle."

Sometimes the talkin' would stop and it'd get real still
and I'd hear the Fox family that lived on the other road, settin' on thay're porch.
The night air carryin' their laughin' and talkin' and I reckon that was a 'nother reason
I thought ever'body talked like we did.

Then I got big and found out right fast that not ever' body did.
Thay're was no invitation to 'pull 'y self up a cheer and set down'.
And you ain't likely to get nowhere much if you say 'I reckon', or 'I'd druther not',
or the worst of all 'yuns'. It's all right to say ya'll, but don't say yuns or people with think your ignert.

Leave your native tongue at home, as hearty and rich as it is, you got t'leave it on the porch where
it belongs and talk homogonized talk out in the world. It's as bland as unsalted butter, but
it's 'acceptable' and nobody will take you serious if you spit out 'yuns' or tell somebody
'you look awful nice t'day' or let's go git us a cole drank'a water.

But it still sounds like honey to me, smooth and golden, like them evenin's I spent listenin'
to all that talk and not knowin' that ever'body didn't talk thataway and I feel right sorry
for them. Nobody much sits on the porch now anyways and kids don't play outside
but we all got cell phones and contact lists so I reckon kids'll be remembering about that in 50 years.

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