They keep taking me to these dang English lessons
These speech therapy lessons
These uncomfortable lessons

This instructor

she doesn’t look like me
she doesn’t think like me
she doesn’t talk like me
I don’t talk

But I think
And I write
And I can talk
I just choose not to talk around those I don’t trust
And she didn’t earn my trust
I’m like the Duke of Hastings from Bridgerton
We share such odd traits with each other
No native language
Yet our English teachers always quick to hype us up
We can trust them because they know how to teach us
Empathize with us
Anger and nerves and sadness
We will not speak to just anyone but will speak at the right moments at the right times

I don’t talk to her

And time went by and I learned how to speak
I excelled and nobody could know I once couldn’t speak
And now I can speak and since I can speak people will tell me I shouldn’t speak the language of


I shouldn’t speak English unless they want me to speak English

And there are times when they tell me not to speak English
No longer are we in English class
No longer are we here with the speech therapist teaching me how to mold my tongue the proper way on B and V and W
She used a red marker on a red folder and I could speak (up) and tell her to use a different color marker
We’re in the real world now
And your enemies are Partners at major Accounting firms
And they don’t have access to your psychological records
Nor should they because they don’t care about you
And they create Facebook Civil Wars
Their son died and you didn’t call yet you did speak (up)
And you were there you have a story you tried to help
But they’ll say this is not your story to tell
They will cancel you
Cancel culture they call it
Whoever has the money whoever has that authority
They will cancel you ban you betray you

And don’t tell this story
Don’t speak up in English
Once you couldn’t speak English
They don’t know they don’t care
The very people who should have been there

And when you were a kid all those bullies bullied you into speech lessons
Making you doubt yourself and your abilities
For the Duke of Hastings, it was his father
Sat there and made him cry

Now nobody can bully the Duke of Hastings
He could be a public speaker
But when you become a public speaker all eyes are on you
And they will sit there and make you cry
Taking you back to speech therapy lessons
Making you doubt yourself
Some people years ago said you must speak English but now there’re jealous of you
They’ll join in with the bullies now they’re not children these people these bullies they’re old enough to be grandparents
They’re immature and selfish and commit crimes of coercion
Yet they’re Accountants and they don’t care
Don’t try to overpower them don’t you dare
They’re sad and they’re honest and they just want to help
That’s why they canceled you
They’re ethical
They’re empathic

Don’t you remember

These are English lessons
These are speech therapy lessons
These are uncomfortable lessons

Adviser at USDA Coalition of Minority Employees featured in The Washington Post, Politico & The Atlantic and on CNN, NBC, HLN, and ABC.

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