Ask Me For My Name (Part 2)

Ask me for my name

On my first day of school

For twelve years

And I’ll tell you my nickname instead

Ask me when I say I’m from down South but you don’t believe me

Because someone with my name couldn’t possibly be American

Ask me when you interview me

And form judgments about what I’m capable of

Ask me when I do a good deed

Because that’s what I’ve been taught

To think of others above myself

And never to see my own individual identity as something to be valued

Or to be the recipient of an “I love you”

Ask me what my name means

And I’ll tell you it means sunshine

It means being an adult before you’re ready

It means nights alone

It means not understanding but having to understand

In a world that doesn’t understand you

 

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