Losing My Accent
by David Bowles


Freshly arrived in McAllen, Texas, my parents’
hometown, I learned that I had an accent.
Kids in class couldn’t seem to understand
my South Carolinian draw, the dropped Rs and
lazy dipthongs, much too lethargic to blend.
I knew I would have to make some changes,
but didn’t want to sound like cousins and peers,
their short, Tex-Mex vowels, soft Gs and Ps,
devoiced final consonants and popping Vs.
So I studied TV newsmen, reporters, anchors,
the announcers and commercial actors,
and with a summer’s practice I ground
my twang into a barely perceptible hint—
the lightest of lilts. When school began again,
I greeted classmates with neutral Midwestern
plainness. “Where you from? D’nde eres?”
the other kids asked me. But I was no longer
certain, had scoured the South from my tongue,
had refused the spice of my father’s culture.
“Nowhere,” I blandly muttered. “Everywhere.”






Copyright 2018 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.