Name What’s in a name? Well that’s simple enough. Didn’t need Shakespeare for this one. Think about a name, your name for a moment. It’s a string of letters lined up, linked, letters you recognize on the page in front of you. They make a sound you know very well heard it called in school, out in the field in church, in court. You responded most of the time, laying claim to it. They say hey, John, or Frank or Freddy, and you snap to or groan a response depending on who was saying your name. It’s yours and you have woven your life into it, things you did and still do, places you’ve been, even the people around you who say your name whisper it, or shout it or just say it when they pass you on the street. It was born with you, in you, you became it, it became you and now it’s aging with you, got this old along the way, got tired, and now just waits for the last time to hear itself called. We’ll always know what’s in our name – it’s easy. Mid-Afternoon I’m the older gentleman in the picture don’t like the word “elderly,” so I am the older gentleman walking his older dog, mid-afternoon. It’s mid-afternoon when older men and dogs have time for such things. It’s mid-afternoon and the kids are just getting out of school, some excited and playful and some are strangely subdued. The scene includes the older man and dog and the children. The afternoon casts shadows and a few suggestions for the scene. I’m sure that Hallmark has this on a card, a sentimental almost scary rendering, an illustrator’s best effort with the ingredients. The verse on the inside would make use of contrasts age and actions, perhaps something about how, for some it’s the afternoon of a day while it’s the afternoon of life for some others. Got Game There comes a point in the game with both teams bungling, fumbling, acting as if they forgot how to play, a point in the game when you start thinking about your childhood dreams and plans about playing, thought it out, there you were catching the pass over your shoulder then running, zig-zagging, you could hear the stands, the cheering, the commentators analyzing your moves, but, of course, you never tried out, grade school, junior high high school. You watched from the stands went to a college that didn’t even have a team. Plans and dreams disappear like that. You went on with your life, a watcher, a fan until one Sunday, today you watched two teams bungle, fumble, seem to forget how to play, and there you are again, your childhood self, that other self that got left behind, catch a pass over your shoulder and run, zig-zag, while they all cheered you on this time.