My Initials

My name lies between
the sequoia-wood carvings made not so long ago
by the man who made my father see that gentleness
was key. It ends as most of the carvings do,
with the letter that begins a name
I shall never want changed, and is
preceded by the sentiment of my grandmother
who never learnt to swim or ride a bike
because my great grandmother treasured
so her life and her fickle idea of family
and the fickle idea itself of life.
It is a name that was hers long ago,
that is my grandmothers
and that is also mine.
And first there is the image of me
first born, and the name that my parents saw,
and the love that lay in that gaze,
that always will in all gazes evermore.
And beside the stool sit others alike,
with carvings all ending the same,
in the house where we all meet
and laugh and share
in each other our stories, our love,
our fears and our comforts,
and so a home is built on a name.

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