Fashioning Identity


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One to a dozen

or more

tiny letters

strung together

in a way

that fashions

our identity.

Does that one

word define

the me inside

this body,

this head,

this skin?

Can I look at

my fingers

and say,

“yes, those are _______’s fingers?”

Would someone

else’s hands

explain a different


Many people have

my name,

so are they as

individual as I am

or are we somehow

the same

because we share

a name?

I am named for

a grandmother,

a great-grandmother

(times two),

and my name rhymes

with itself.

What was my mother

thinking by

giving me so many

names that

I become a

walking conundrum.

I didn’t take my

married name

because I wanted to add it

instead of removing

my essential being–

the name I was born with.

He didn’t want that

so I didn’t change anything.

I’ve taken a stand

and we fight over it now.

You, my dearest Johnny,

were supposed to be

named Jack Daniel.


What were your parents


Naming you after their

favorite drink,

your favorite drink.

In the end,

they changed their

choice but left the


You will forever

be J.D. in their minds.

I know people

who are called by their

middle names

for one reason or another.

Why give a name

that you never plan

to use?

That’s ridiculous.

We have stories

about how we

came to be called

what we are called,

but what part of

those titles,

those nicknames,

those identifiers

make us who we are?

I have never liked

my name,

but people tell me

it’s beautiful,



I’ve only ever liked it

when I hear it

fall from your lips.

My best friend

gave her child

my name,

and that name matches my

sister’s name so


how could I

choose to separate

myself from

those four letters

that define me,

cover me

and expose me

all at once?

I’ll keep my name.

It is who I am,

who I am meant to be.



Daily Writing Prompt–Identity



7 thoughts on “Fashioning Identity

  1. Pingback: The illegal name | Life is great

  2. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Name that… You! | My Atheist Blog

  3. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Name That … You! | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss

  4. Pingback: Daily Prompt – Name that . . .you! | Joe's Musings

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