What’s In a Name – A Poem

When I left home at sixteen,

I needed another name.

The name I had then didn’t fit properly.

It fit too tightly around me,

and was far too harsh.

After a while,

I realized that it was not the name

that didn’t fit

but that I didn’t fit the name.

I kept my first name

but I let the last two fall away to the wind.

I watched them sail away

to find someone else

but it left me empty

and unsure of where I belonged.

I asked if I could take your last name,

if that would be all right.

I was afraid at what you would say,

at the answer you would give.

You said that you would be honoured

if I took your name.

When I tried it on,

the name fit so well.

It was new and it was mine

but it was also your name.

As time moved on,

we were separated by space,

by seas and by land,

but we always had the connection

that existed between us

because of your family name.

Your name gave me

a new sense of myself

as I reshaped who I was.

However, you were also my parent

for over twenty years of my life.

You taught me to dance,

to let my spirit free to move as it would

and to feel the air around it.

You showed me

what you thought was beautiful,

everything from art and culture,

to music, food and wine.

Though you have gone to live amongst the stars,

I choose to remember you

as the man who was kind enough

to give me his name

and everything that it held


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