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She wore it and bore it,

like an ill-fitting coat,

a name duly bestowed,

from his mistress’s throat.


Obsessed by the curse,

not her familial name,

an unfortunate victim,

of his clandestine game.


Dad told her a story,

again and again,

she should have been Phillip,

not a girl, shy, and plain.


This was cold comfort,

to be given this news,

as he’d also died young,

singing the sugar blues.


The Carpenter’s coat –

she wore that one too,

a mismatched fit,

she shrank from view.


She pondered a name,

ambiguous, and strong,

a spiritual death,

yearning to belong.


As she grew older and wiser,

and tired of this fate,

tipping the scales,

the deed sealed her fate.


The mistress was smug,

as her mother boohooed,

to use her new name,

they still staunchly refused.


Karen’s long gone now,

victim, weak, and lame,

too scared of life,

wearing that coat of blame.


It still cuts to the quick,

to be labelled as Karen,

a hollow reminder,

a moniker barren.


My choice name is Alex,

my phoenix rebirth,

from mouse to lion,

a feeling of worth.


I am sorry mother,

we were all taken in,

by the maleficent blarney

and their original sin.


© Karen 01.06.2015

by Alexandra Carr-Malcolm