Atticus to Zeppelin

Classroom photo, mine. 2012

“Recess teacher!!”
That would be me
and anyone else over 3 feet tall
who has a whistle.

“Hey guys, just so you know,
my name’s Mrs. Collins”,
flashing my cartoon-y fish
logo with my fancy-ish name.
“What’re your names?”

“I’m Atticus, this is Zeppelin.”

“Well, those are some pretty big
names,” I remark, and proceed                                                                                                        to untangle the playground snafu.

They saunter off while I muse about
the challenge of the names
they are saddled with, embattled with
in the spelling from K through twelfth,
and I wonder what parents–
readers of classics?
rock and roll fans?–
would do that to a five year old,
giving them, not a name to grace them
or fit well but letters too many
to spell when you are five
and all you want to do is                                                                                                                     play on the swings
and fly……….

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  • Jody Lee Collins

    Thank you, Charles. Yes, the African American children have the most unique names of all……I have to smile when they can spell them for me. Thanks for reading.

  • Anonymous

    Wonderful poem! I like the unusual names; seems too many parents get caught up in the popular ones. Wind up with a bunch of kids with the same name. What gets me is when they try to make it different by spelling it weird.

  • PattiKen

    Love the dialogue with the kids, who don't seem bothered at all by their names. At least those names have some weight. Some of the names I hear these days make me wonder if the parents were having a drug flashback to the 60s when they chose a name for their child.

  • Poet Laundry

    I have to say I am a lover of the out of ordinary, but I so get your piece Jody. They do just want to play on the swings and fly…maybe we all do.

  • Anonymous

    There are some strange names today. I know of what you write, I enjoyed much.

  • Brian Miller

    ugh…ha….yeah i feel for those kids…when you struggle so hard just with your own name, there has to be issues with that you know….

  • Debra

    Hi Jody! I trust that one of those children was named after Atticus Finch. But Zeppelin? Enjoyed your poem. Like Auden said, “Poems are just stories… with the boring parts left out.”

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