Linton Kwesi Johnson - Sonny's Lettah (Anti-Sus Poem)

From Brixton Prison, Jebb Avenue London S.W. 2 Inglan

Dear mama
Good day
I hope that when these few lines reach you
They may find you in the best of health
I doun know how to tell ya dis
For I did mek a solemn promise
To tek care a lickle Jim
An' try mi bes fi look out fi him

Mama, I really did try mi bes, but none a di less
Sorry fi tell ya seh, poor lickle Jim get arres'
It was de miggle a di rush hour
When evrybody jus a hustle and a bustle
To go home fi dem evenin' shower
Mi an' Jim stan' up waitin' 'pon a bus
Not causin' no fuss

When all of a sudden a police van pull up
Out jump tree policemen
De whole a dem carryin' baton
Dem walk straight up to me and Jim
One a dem hold on to Jim
Seh dem tekin' him in
Jim tell him fi leggo a him
For him nah do nutt'n
And him nah thief, not even a but'n
Jim start to wriggle
De police start to giggle

Mama, mek I tell you wa dem do to Jim?
Mek I tell you wa dem do to him?

Dem thump him him in him belly and it turn to jelly
Dem lick him 'pon him back and him rib get pop
Dem thump him 'pon him head but it tough like lead
Dem kick him in him seed and it started to bleed

Mama, I jus couldn't stan' up deh, nah do nuttin'

So mi jook one in him eye and him started fi cry
Me thump him 'pon him mout and him started fi shout
Me kick him 'pon him shin so him started fi spin
Me hit him 'pon him chin an' him drop 'pon a bin
- an' crash, an' dead

Mama, more policman come dung
Dem beat me to the grung
Dem charge Jim fi sus
Dem charge mi fi murder

Mama, don't fret
Don't get depress an' downhearted
Be of good courage,
till I hear from you
I remain
Your son,

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