Name Calling

I like to know the names of things:
tree, fish and flower.
Not the silly names I call the geese
-Juan and Rosalita-
who graze and gaze upon my lawn,
But real names,
true names.
I want to say,
"A brown thrasher sang the dusk down
while the great blue heron speared sun fish by the sea wall."
Knowing I have fully shared
both sight and sound.

I like to know the names of things
So I can know the cold-blooded coil
basking lithely on the wood-rough dock
is a friendly visiting brown water snake
rather than a sinisterly lurking moccasin.
Most folks agree
"that snakes are only good for killin'"
But I am not so calloused
as to murder a fellow
once I know his name.

I like to know the names of things
no more standing on formality.
No need to keep
polite distances
once we are acquainted.
Strangers make lonely bedfellows
in our ever shrinking space
Names create connections
weave lives together.
Allow me
to invite you, warm  and welcoming,
to stop awhile,
and share a little life with me.

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