Names

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Artwork (not mine) inspired by Joseph Cornell 

Blessings
encapsulated into being:
an A, an E, maybe a D
or, perhaps, two Ts:

You grow into your name,
or maybe you don’t know
what it means. Google tells you
that you’re a “child of God”,
or “the Messenger of Angels”.
But I don’t want empty titles, or
non-definitive purposes. Neither am I
a word lost in the passages
of light, or meaningless verses.

The story spills, rolling about
from the dregs: pale pastures of bitter coffee.
Of two really bad wines –
a glass flute lies casually on its thinly, curved side.

A discarded button lies on the floor,
reflecting a pale bluish Singer hue.
Ethereal grandmother eyes, sandwiched
between ancient, jovial mischief
now sparkle as she takes to the tale:

“80 years of strife,
and of withered family life –
of the seas and of many lovers,
drowned in the jungles of Malaya.
A man that disappeared off the coast,
taken by two khaki-clad men:
who is to say, or say afoul
of these dangerous mice
that masquerade as men?”

Somewhere in between
the halogen lights
rests the slight pause
of her dexturous fingers,
the shadow looming

in the form of benign presence,
all in all, right in front of me –
she who wears them all,
clandestine threads
inpalpably woven in her blood:

she, half-hidden by the light
of the lamp, who gently
pokes the needle through the cloth,
humming the medley under her breath.

“I took you to the fortune teller
and he took a look at you –
and he named you right there, and then.”

But what does it mean, Mum?

She continues to sew,
the silence punctuated
by the scrape of the key.
The door creaks open
and a stilted gasp of light peers in.

It dances on her face,
illuminating buttonhole dimples,
tracing soft-worn wrinkles
and lifting her face
from somnabulant monsters.

“I don’t know, honey –
count it as a blessing from the gods?
But what you make of it:
that, I can say, such will be.”