Me Bannabees

Run ober mango trees,
   ’Pread chock to kitchen doo’,
Watch de blue bannabees,
   Look how it ben’ down low!

De blossom draw de bees
   Same how de soup draw man;
Some call it “broke-pot” peas,
   It caan’ bruk we bu’n-pan.

Wha’ sweet so when it t’ick?
   Though some call it goat-tud,
Me all me finger lick,
   An’ yet no chew me cud.

A mumma plant de root
   One day jes’ out o’ fun;
But now look ’pon de fruit,
   See wha’ de “mek fun” done.

I jam de ’tick dem ’traight
   Soon as it ’tart fe ’pread,
An begin count de date
   Fe when de pod fe shed.

Me watch de vine dem grow,
   S’er t’row dung a de root:
Crop time look fe me slow,
   De bud tek long fe shoot.

But so de day did come,
   I ’crub de bu’n-pan bright,
An’ tu’n down ’pon it from
   De marnin’ till de night.

An’ Lard! me belly swell,
   No ’cause de peas no good,
But me be’n tek a ’pell
   Mo’ dan a giant would.

Yet eben after dat
   Me nyam it wid a will,
’Causen it mek me fat;
   So I wi’ lub it still.

Caan’ talk about gungu,
   Fe me it is no peas;
Cockstone might do fe you,
   Me want me bannabees.

From Songs of Jamaica (Aston W. Gardner & Co., 1912) by Claude McKay. This poem is in the public domain.