Introduction: Introduce some of the unfamiliar words and phrases in the story. Discuss the English dialect used in Jamaica
and give more examples if possible.
The Corner Shop
"Chil', me stone broke," Grandma sighs.
"Not a copper penny in me house.
Go tell Maas Charles at the corner shop
I want to trust a pound of codfish
and two pounds of rice.
I'll pay him when the produce dealer
buys me dried pimento crop in season."
Maas Charles never says no.
He knows everyone in the village
by their first names.
He scoops from his bin, weighs and wraps,
adds to his credit sheet on the wall
a new amount under Grandma's name.
Grandma always says,
"Thank God for Maas Charles."
Poem by Monica Gunning.
Gunning, Monica. Not a Copper Penny in Me House. Illustrations by Frane Lessac. Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, Inc.,
1993, p. 10. ISBN: 1563970503.
Extension: a) Read some other poems, stories, and nonfiction related to Jamaica. b) Listen to tapes of stories told with
a Jamaican dialect. c) Invite a person from Jamaica to visit your class and to share Jamaican stories, customs, and culture.
Ask the person to read this poem while he/she is visiting.