ANDREW MAYNE POETRY
LOTS IN A NAME
To Art Mayne
I was, from the beginning, no doubt
about it, to be called Andrew.
Yet Arthur – father’s name,
which I have never recognised
and always tried to suppress –
preceded Andrew on my birth certificate.
Because my parents’ sense of euphony
preferred it, they claimed, that way round.
Wrong from the false start.
So it became my destiny that officials,
reading my name from some form,
never knew how they undid me
in the moment they wished to sound chummy:
But dad is dead.
And to suffer – for example, when hearing
Arthur called out expectantly in a waiting-room –
a never-quite-regularly-enough-repeated experience
to save me from two seconds of a bewildered:
This is not me you want.