Poetry Platform

May 2024

Imou Eparis

My Name by Imou Eparis

Named after a woman I never met, stories of her now vague recollections
For a long time, the name held no meaning to me
Burdened, carrying this weight of insignificance
Why couldn’t I be a Margaret or Lucy?

My name is a whole phonetics class, nobody signed up for.
A dance on everyone’s tongue yet no one knew the moves
Dropped on its head every time, returned to me broken whenever I introduced myself
Like a child hiding a bad grade from their parents,
I wished I could hide my name from the world, put it behind my back and pretend it never existed.
What name?

I had always hated it, I had always wished it into non-existence
but I realize now that my name is my flag, my name is my anthem
A path leading me to where I am from
There is tradition in my name, a whole family lineage.

My name carries stories of great women of the past
It carries histories of my community; no history book can compete with
My heavy name carries a depth no foreign name could possibly carry
So allow me to introduce myself and take your lips to syllables your tongue never knew existed.

© 2023 Imou Eparis. All rights reserved.  Reproduction or transmission of this work in any part or form is strictly prohibited without the author’s prior written consent.

About the author

Imou Dolphine Eparis is a writer, poet and co-founder of Rafinki, a collective of writers and poets from Nairobi, Kenya.

She is an English and Literature graduate who loves painting pictures with her words. Imou uses creative writing to express herself and share her story.

A list of writers previously published by AGN is maintained here; writers list.

Submission guidelines for those thinking of putting their work forward to be considered for publication are here; submission guidelines.

African Global Networks (AGN) – May 2024