Ethereal Christening

I often envied my sisters for names linking generations together,
and I wondered if in me some small
part of heritage might be intact
within my own.

I would ask my mother who my sisters
had been named after, and her eyes
would shine, and crinkle. She’d tell me
that Rachel had been named after my Kay, my Grammy’s middle name,
and that Hannah’s was picked after
my Father’s Mother.

Who was I named after? I’d always ask,
and she’d cheerily reply,
we thought the names sounded pretty
together. You weren’t named after
anyone.

What a strange feeling it was, to not understand my name. How could
the name Elizabeth sound small
Or graceful? Yet that was
my name.

How can someone’s identity serve them through a name, when I have named one daughter life, and she
was taken from me? One drenched
in holy memory, where pious reason
once fully took me,
and when they couldn’t understand
the font of questions from
within, and all because
it was my name, and I had an oath
to keep.

Is this why I wonder who I am? My own image, made in God’s,
but sometimes I would rather be
someone who had been given a direction to look.
If I could understand why they share names, and I do not, or perhaps
it is because I am reflecting this
strange inner-turmoil
from the mere fact that it is
only a name.

Such a pity we are not named
after we learn who we are.

 

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