Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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What happens to the ones that fall out of favor:
the Dorises and Archibalds,
the Theodores and Eunices?
They all had their day,
once roamed the earth in multitudes
alongside Gerties and Wyatts,
as though there would always be
at least one in every classroom.
Names written in neat block print,
scratched into tree bark side by side,
engraved on heart-shaped lockets,
or filling the morning paper
with weddings and engagements.
How could they have known
it was their last hurrah?
That one by one the Constances
and Clydes would disappear,
replaced by Jennifers, Jacobs,
Ashleys, and Aidens?
That few would ever dance again,
corsage pinned neatly to their breasts,
or hear their names on the radio
read by the DJ in whispered dedication,
or uttered in darkness
by a breathless voice,
or even shouted out in anger —
“Seymour! Seymour!” —
as they grabbed the keys and stormed out the door?
Each name would fade quietly from daily life
as though it had never existed,
except for the letters etched into gray stone,
warmed by the sun in the day,
at night lit by a crescent moon.