I heard how your name was properly pronounced
and practised it all the way to your home.
But by the time I got there it was gone from my tongue, forgotten.
And I had to get it right, get everything right.
Because if I got everything right
and everything else turned out alright, who knows?
We could have had it better.
But I blurted out your name and your parents
– or your children –
couldn’t help it and laughed.
But that’s a girl’s name
– or a man’s name – they said
and hid their laughter behind their hands
but not from their eyes.
So that was the last time I saw you until today.
Thank you for coming.
My life has been good
and now is complete.
Thank you for coming. Goodbye.