Names

My name is Ezra Standish

A small stood, staring into the silver mirror

A woman with a gentle hand removed the tear tracks

He turned to her, reached for comfort

"Only trust yourself, son, not me, not anyone else, ever."

He blinked uncertainly, paused and was rewarded

With a brief smile and a rare, "That's my boy!"

He swore to never forget his new name.

My name is Ezra Standish

A young boy huddled in a dark alley

His arms wrapped around his painful ribs

His ragged clothing hung loose, waving in the wind

Bitter pain, rage, and fear shone from his eyes

But he never spoke a word or cried out

Not when his tormentors were chased away

Nor when his mother rescued him from his new friends

But his soul whispered his name.

My name is Ezra Standish

The teen recited the words in his head

Holding onto them fiercely as he was left yet again

Another unwilling relative accepting the burden

While his mother went off to earn her fortune

He was forced to conform to their beliefs

So he hid his cards and bit his tongue

But never broke or forgot who he was.

My name is Ezra Standish

The young man signed the papers grimly

Joining a war he did not believe in out of duty

He had read and studied enough to know better

He survived battles and routs, famine and plenty

He was captured, imprisoned, and sentenced to hang

But a fever struck hard, he escaped and went home

Only to find all he had left was his name.

My name is Ezra Standish

The smooth gambler introduced himself

He flashed the gold tooth earned in battle

As he prepared to defend himself against bad odds

Only to be met with grudging acceptance

Slowly, tenuously he settled on the edge of the group

Accepting blows, and taunts, and overtures of friendship

While earning a new title to go with his name.

I am Ezra Standish

I am Maude's son.

I am an orphan.

I am a con artist.

I am a scholar.

I am a soldier.

I am a widower.

I am a gambler.

I am a… lawman.