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what's in a name

what's in a name

I had three names
the one in the middle
never gave me a problem
I did not mind it
it was the two at either end
that caused all the problems

on the school yard
there were sing-song games
the kind of mean charades
all new kids
are loathe to play

I had to find a strategy
a means to opt out
of the chicanery
I had to find a way to
reclaim my dignity
in my own small mind

each day in the classroom
the little hands which gathered
homework often tore mine up
my zeros were piling up
though I didn't really earn them

a new idea nested in
my head
a call for a cloaked identity
to be like the Scarlet Pimpernel
I'd use my initials
m a h

then the true identity would remain
protected and so would my papers

I saw my grade point daily increasing
and the internal pressure nozzle
slowly being turned off
I hadn't yet heard of something called
an incomplete

but soon enough the teacher began
to question us
who was this person
signing with only their initials

through the process of elimination
I was found out
but there was no recriminations
she'd set aside all my initialed papers
asked me quietly
for an explanation

I tried to tell her
but I couldn't explain my shame
which really wasn't my own

she asked me
what's in a name
and then we had a long discussion
where she asked me to think things through
write about my feelings
I obliged her
as no one before had
ever acknowledge me
nor listened
I felt valued

after that
for a month or so
I switched easily between signing my name
as Missy H to M Howells,
according to whatever mood struck me.
there were no recriminations

after a month
I permanently altered it to
striking out forever the foul nickname
which I had so long despised
and never chosen
I preferred the name I
was given

what's in a name
perhaps some of us have the answer to
that question more than

that is why some of us
reinvent ourselves
and choose only the name which
speaks to us.

Copyright August 7 2014
All Rights Are Reserved Solely By This Author
Meloo/Melissa A Howells
Straight from her (copyrighted) Tilt-a-World
all prose/stories/rants/ideas/poetry are the legal property
of this author

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