Names

What happens to the ones that fall out of favor:
the Dorises and Archibalds,
the Theodores and Eunices?
They all had their day,
once roamed the earth in multitudes
alongside Gerties and Wyatts—
at least one in every classroom.
Names written in neat block print,
scratched into tree bark,
engraved on heart-shaped lockets,
filling the morning paper
with weddings and engagements.
How could they have known
that one-by-one the Constances
and Clydes would disappear,
replaced by Jennifers, Jacobs,
Ashleys and Aidens.
That few would ever dance again,
corsages pinned to their breasts
or hear their names on the radio
whispered in dedication,
or uttered in darkness
by a breathless voice,
or even shouted out in anger—
Seymour!”—
as they grabbed the keys and stormed out the door.
Each name fading quietly from daily life
as though it had never existed,
except for the letters etched into stone,
warmed by the sun
and at night, lit by a crescent moon.

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