Names I have known

She was first violinist in the National Symphony. He was first trombonist.

I, their first born, was Allegra. The priest’s Southern accent saw my vowels elongated and a little of his spittle hit my forehead with the baptismal water.

An active child with no discernible musical talent, at primary school I started answering to Leggy, missing my true name at every roll call.

My new friend at high school said I was an Ali, all tragic dark-black hair. We scrutinised the boys to see who could be my Ryan.

The names have come and gone over the years. I forget to answer to most. As I hover over my now empty body, I see the doctor write Alegra / Leukemia on the certificate. I wonder if the misspelling matters.


Classroom exercise on the notion of a characters evolution as shown by their names.

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