The name my mother wanted to call me
meant other, different, strange, babbler, brute.
I turned strange early — electricity
my plaything, books as bricks, teething on fruit
stones and gnawing varnish off planks of wood;
running with bears in my dreams, and naming
my dog for booze, my doll for she who would
never be forgotten (queen of gaming
and floodwaters and wars played out in words).
How curious it is, then, that my name,
my given name, was something else, like birds
embroidered on silk in rare colors, tame,
or rather tamed, forcibly, their wings clipped
so they will roost, sacred chickens on crypts.
The prompt for today was to do a deep delve into one of your names, which absolutely knocked me back, since I’d already done that on day 6! I called that poem “Naming,” so I couldn’t very well call this poem the same thing, but now, with all of this, I’m kind of thinking of them as a pair, even though they are very different.