Name calling could not be as delightful as when I was a substitute teacher. All the hues, coloration, and discoloration of multisyllabic names and how they were sounded out. The Arielle’s, Futuma’s, Gabriella, Isabella’s, Ja’cion, Jasmine’s, Jaziah’s, Mateo, and the Victoria’s. Attempts to play with language, always failing, igniting laughter and spoon-feeding me light low-caloric delighted annoyance occasionally crisp taunts to get the name right, crisply pointed like french toast sticks the syrupy gaze awaiting the next name I’d say, a mirrored reflection as I gazed back grounding myself with deliberate eye contact. As if all fails, the calling of names, at least they know I was here, made the effort to be present.
The names were so fun and funky. I got to say them and unlike many other professional-job like context. I got to pause. And that pause welcomed me to write a poem.