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Lea wants to change her name to Tina.
Her mother says she must think very carefully
because a name has to fit.
The wrong name can bind like someone else’s shoes.
Who knows where a name has walked,
dust of what roads, uncomfortable creases across the toe,
the heel worn down by someone else’s sorrow?
Her brother says the name Tina fits.
But if she’s Tina, what happened to Lea?
The name turned down the wrong street, got lost,
fell off the edge of the mountain.
The sound of her name fills the river valley.
Everywhere it is nowhere, he says,
her name needs to come home.
Lea doesn’t want to be Tina anymore.
It’s just too much responsibility.
Copyright 2006, 2018 Michael Simms. First appeared in The Happiness of Animals published by Monkey Sea Editions.