A Common Name

The boy with the common name, lonely always,
Joined late for dinner, clapped last at jest,
Waited for the rest to rise, hated praise,
He sought friends in trees, and in the sunset at west.

He knew not the meaning in his name,
Some replied it was water, some the sky,
And when, from crowds, strange voices exclaimed
With his name, always many replied

At twelve, his world’s still an inherited book,
The boy, traveling with early sun-beams,
Joined some foreign pilgrims, and mistook
Them as one questioning his dreams.

There he met a girl, whose name did sound
As much as his own, as two beats of the heart,
Yet strange was her smile, he found,
As was oasis in his mind’s desert.

Her speech, richer and neater than nectar,
Was like a perfect portrait disfigured
In his eye; or like the meaning of a falling star
In windowless houses is no more revered.

A western summer might be awaited long,
The selfsame weather blinds the eastern skies,
A scarred cliche flattens a vibrant song,
In distant lands clings on to the tongue of the wise.

From then, the boy prides in his common name,
Like the staking jockey flaunts in his sure claims.

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