When I hear e nerve its sting in needle
the power of my thinking in the margin
makes skin prick on my scalp
there just behind my ears…
and I feel the tiniest annoyance
in my brain corners as I read of births
where mere Roman numerals confer lineage
prestige and preferment nearly royal
to a new born son…and I sense resentment dash
my female mind, for it is rarely daughter true.
There’s mystic power in a name…
shades of understanding that a Debbie
is not Deborah, and a Jimmie is not James.
And, when I asked Sam if he liked his name
or would ever change it…he looked away,
eyes hooded like a lizard in the sun,
and took long slow breaths and smiled.
“I’m glad they named me Sam…ever since
some green egg story Mother read me
when I learned that Sams know how
to question and to listen…take notice
how people change their mind and it’s
no matter…not like a Theophilus…although
a Theo might stay to hear you for a while.”
Then I remember…thinking just behind my ears
and in nether margins of my brain how amply
absolutely fits his name no sham am is Sam.
Artwork by Anastasia Tversky