We shared a name. I acquired

mine with a husband.

His mother gave him his.

He rejected it in favor of Washington

just the way his father had rejected him.

But what of the mother? It was not the name

of the man who owned her and I can speak

from experience, you don’t name

a child for your rapist.

What was there? Affection?


I don’t know, but I do know that when

I stand in front of the three-dimensional

portrait of the man, I see my sons

in the shape of the eyes and head,

the set of the ears and mouth,

the familiar, stubborn jaw.