Wednesday, June 2, 2010


For Stacy, whose name is not Tracy.

Last week, I got up to read –
A bounce from your poem –
And mentioned you
By the wrong name.
You corrected me

I don’t know
Why my mind
Won’t wrap itself
Around your name.
I’d even asked
Another friend about it
Earlier that night.
He gave me
The right name. But
The wrong name
Popped out of my mouth.

Meanwhile, people
Were waiting
For my reading.
I tried
To introduce my poem,
While you commented angrily
On everything I said.
I cut off eye contact with you;
I met the eyes of the crowd.
You got up and left
Before the poem
Started. Later,
Yet another friend
Would tell me
You did not leave
In a huff, but I found that
Hard to believe.

I’ve known you
For awhile, talked with you
Often, and should
Have known better.
But I’d been embarrassed
That I couldn’t grasp
Your name, never
Admitted it to you. I kept
Asking others about it,
But it just wouldn’t stick in my mind.
I should have just written it down;
I don’t know why I never did.

And now
The secret is exposed,
Having been blurted out
In the worst possible way,
In public even -- to embarrass you
As well as me. Worse
Than calling someone the wrong name
In bed; there’s not even
A third party involved
To mix things up!

OK, there’s a problem
With my memory, a glitch
I hope is not a glimpse
Of worse to come (my mother
Died with Alzheimer’s.)

But what I did
Was not deliberate.
Perhaps the way you handled it
Was also not a choice –
Sudden anger
Sometimes overrides
The will.

I will do what I can –
Apologize to you.

I only hope
That I remember to.

-- © 2010 by Jack Veasey

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced or duplicated in any way without the author's written permission.


  1. This could happen to anyone,especially if they are nervous. Time has a way of healing little hurts. I think Tracy will get over it soon enough. I am continually trying to remind myself not to stress over the small stuff. I think we all struggle with this and memory lapse. :-)

  2. Thanks, Carrie! Nice to meet you. The next open is tomorrow night, so I may find out if we've made progress. Sure hope so!