Linton Kwesi Johnson – Sonny’s Lettah

Racism and police brutality is not the province of any one country. This is Linton’s reggae poem about the abuse of power:

Sonny’s Lettah

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
Hevrybody 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 ‘im nah t’ief, not even a but’n
Jim start to wriggle
De police start to giggle

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