Before the internet, I thought my name was unique. I loved to say it aloud; let it roll around my mouth like the best wine. Singular.

Then I found there were others that share this name that I wanted to claim all my own. Of all ages: younger and older. I found a blues singer, Brenda Patterson, and an opera singer, Brenda Patterson. I found versions of the name in the romance writing world, Brenda Joyce, and even in the movies, 40s actress, Brenda Joyce.




I keep finding iterations of me
dead, newly dead, or alive
busy, claiming the spots
that could’ve been mine.

That first me whose obit
I found, rattled like so
many bones in a divining
cup, thrown at my feet.

By the fifth passing, I’d grown
carapace-strong, detached
enough to read (her)story
without ice cleaving me in two.

The problem is the ones
eager and wanting more
marking territory, living it up
being themselves, not me.


[If you’re enjoying my poems, why not check me – Brenda Joyce Patterson – out on social media: Facebook, Twitter, and my website. Or sign up for my newsletter.]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.