Isn’t my name magical?

Nobody can see my name on me.
My name is inside
and all over me, unseen
like other people also keep it.
Isn’t my name magic?

My name is mine only.
It tells I am individual,
the one special person it shakes
when I’m wanted.

If I’m with hundreds of people
and my name gets called,
my sound switches me on to answer
like it was my human electricity.
Isn’t that magical?

My name echoes across playground,
it comes, it demands my attention.
I have to find out who calls,
who wants me for what.
My name gets blurted out in class,
it is a terror, at a bad time,
because somebody is cross.

My name gets called in a whisper
I am happy, because
my name may have touched me
with a loving voice.
Isn’t it all magic?

Copyright: from Only One of Me (Macmillan, 2004), copyright © James Berry 2004, used by permission of the author.

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James Berry's poems take you back to the noises, sights and smells of his Jamaican childhood. James was born in 1924 in a small village ...

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