All the names from the past, I wish I knew one,
instead I have memories of asking for them.
A boy with his books and thin oblong glasses,
said, “No thank you, kid, I’m too busy with classes.”
A cute girl with hair, red like a rose,
just closed her eyes and stuck up her nose.
The group wearing black on their nails, eyes and lips
said, “If you don’t have a friend, we don’t give a rip”
In my chest my heart sank as deep as a well,
but I managed to fake smile, until I heard the bell.
All the names from the past, I didn’t know any,
so to school I went jingling with some money.
To the guy in class I said I was a millionaire,
“Leave me alone,” he begged, “I simply don’t care.”
So, the next day I came with a new pair of shoes.
Finally I’d bid being a loser adieu
All day I pointed down, hoping I’d find a friend,
but new shoes aside, rejection didn’t end.
One kid then another was too cool, or too busy
to see the problem was me, was really quite easy.
All the names from the past, I couldn’t get one,
but my tries to change that were finally done.
I’d always been told ‘to thine own self be true’;
who cares if myself was a sure way to lose.
I put on my boots, and watched the autumn leaves
and I wondered why names did not come with more ease
Am I funny? Too fat? Do I smell? Am I dumb?
Then I realized, the person that I had become.
I contorted to please a vague unknown “them”
Instead of being happy with who I am.
All the names from the past, not surrendered without fight
As myself to school I went with no fright
“This is who I am,” I shouted to the crowd,
but overhead marched a dark thunder cloud.
Drip, drip, each drop fell like a tear from the sky
I had money, and shoes, but kept screaming out, “Why?”
The kids all walked by sporting a confused look.
I grew sullen and silent, my wet body shook.
I cried and I sobbed standing out in the rain,
Then finally I realized, for me, even God had disdain.
All the names from the past I still hate them all,
between us I impose an eternal wall.
If again our paths cross during this daily race
I’d look them in the eye and I’d spit in their face.
~ Christopher Cunningham, San Antonio, Texas