anna. – Poem by Ovya Diwakaran (featured in the February issue of Panorama)

everyone loves my name
it’s so unique they say

what does it mean
where is it from
it’s so exotic
they claim they claim

a white substitute
mispronounces my name
a white dance teacher
mispronounces my name

when corrected I’m met with,
‘I love your name!’
‘Thanks!’ I say
with a smile on my face

but somehow this name
won’t win any ‘fortune or fame’

maybe extra caution
on the highway when pulled over

maybe an extra search
in security at the airport

maybe hidden discrimination
unfair prejudice, buried racism

I think it would be easier
to be named