Marc Darnell

Hard R

I don’t speak proper English really well,
but I’ll be sure the grammar here looks great.
Living in this country can be hell

when people laugh at me, since I can’t tell
what they say so quickly, my head not straight.
I don’t speak proper English really well–

I’m from Puerto Rico, and I can spell
perfect Spanish, my life was a sad state,
but living here also can be hell,

for there I was a health professional,
but here with cashiers I can’t communicate.
I don’t speak proper English really.  Well,

at least here no perdedores sell
my son heroin, no OD’s on the street.
Living in this country can be hell

cleaning a hotel for night school ESL–
the teacher with her hard “r”– enunciate!
I don’t speak proper English really well.
Living in this country can be hell.


Marc Darnell is a custodian and online tutor in Papillion NE.  He received his MFA from the University of Iowa, and has published poems in The Lyric, Rue Scribe, Verse, Skidrow Penthouse, Shot Glass Journal, The HyperTexts, Candelabrum, The Road Not Taken, Aries, Ship of Fools, Open Minds Quarterly, The Fib Review, Verse-Virtual, Blue Unicorn, Ragazine, and The Pangolin Review among others.

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