About Me

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Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts, United States

Friday, May 29, 2009

My First Name

Old enough to be everyone's father or grandfather;
Everyone calls me by my first name.
I never did like my first name.
My mother ran out of names for a third son.

Disappointed that she did not produce a girl,
She tagged me with the handle of her grandfather.
To be sure, Patrick was a worthy saint;
Preaching, evangelizing, converting the heathen Irish
To a religion they never learned to practice.

The name conjures up a stage Irish-American;
Blarney, drink, Pat and Mike jokes.
I should have been named Richard.
Is it too late to change?

Male Kimballs are always named Richard;
After our progenitor who emigrated from Sussex in 1634,
With his wife, five children, and his mother-in-law.
A sturdy yeoman, he built wagons and houses,
And left his seed all over New England.

Why can't I be called Mr. Kimball by anyone?
What is there in our culture that demands
Familiarity on a first name basis?
Maybe I should insist on Professor Kimball;
To awe the natives with my erudition and pedagogy.

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