What’s in a name?


A rose without name would still own its own scent

But what word would you choose if you wanted one sent?

And a person’s still been, if you don’t know their face

But when you looked to your own, which shapes would you trace?

Names can hold meaning, and a face can breed true

You can place in them feeling, and most of us do.


But imagine for me, that there’s a hole in your soul

Which is shaped like a man that you may never know

That his face is a shadow, his name just a sigh

The history you share, just the wind passing by

Your love to be gave slips through fingers like sand

And you’re left holding an ache, instead of a hand


I’ve had a father shaped hole, all my life deep inside

A bitter cold yearning, where there could have been pride

It’s made me angry, and hurt, then bitter, then numb

This haunting of question: from whence did I come?

The shadow once lived, had a name, and a face

And left behind shapes in my mirror to trace


Now, quick as thunder, that hole’s been filled in

And I, in my wonder, don’t know where to begin

The man wasn’t shadow, he had flesh, he had blood!

And had left in his passing, a whole family to love.

Now back to the question: So what’s in a name?

For me, there’s a father, and a void washed away.



Early last year I wrote a letter to a shadow, proclaiming I was giving up on wondering. That I needed to abandon the man shaped hole inside of me and accept that I would never have the answers to fill it in. Life has a funny way of giving you exactly what you’ve always wanted at the moment you’ve given up hope of ever having it. So here’s to my father, Trent Hatton. I never knew you, but you knew me. To be able to hold a photograph of you holding me, look at your face as you look into mine, is nearly as precious to me as being able to hold my own sons.


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