Atticus to Zeppelin

Three of my grandchildren and their mother, April 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

"Well, those are some pretty big
 names," I remark,
and proceed to untangle the
playground problem.

They walk away while
I'm musing
the challenge of the names
they are saddled
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
to fit well
but letters too many
to spell
when you are five
and all you want to
do is play on the
and fly..........

Linking for the first time with LL Barkat for On, In and Around Mondays
and with dVerse Pub for Open Link Night 65.  More good stuff over there.


  1. 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.”

  2. 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....

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.