Always Known As

Temperance by Cesar Santos

Always Known As

Elizabeth has never liked her given name
And wants to substitute or rearrange it –
Maybe she should shorten, though that does seem tame:
Elly, Lisa, Bette – they all estrange it.
No, they’re common, twee and lame,
And all too lacking in acclaim.
So she must start afresh, aflame !
She mustn’t just shortchange it.

Elizabeth has never liked the name she’s got,
But ev’ryone who knows her knows her this way –
And even if she calls herself by who-knows-what,
It won’t mean squat – they’ll never come and play.
They’re far too used to it, she knows – it’s what they say,
And even if they try, they’ll slip – they’ll slip a lot.
‘Elizabeth’ she’ll be until her dying day –
Unless she leaves them all behind, for those who know her not…

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