Sylvia Rae McCarty Kirkwood
My mother admired the actress, Sylvia Sidney.
My father’s name was Raymond – he wanted a boy.
Irish, skinny, freckled, too-curly auburn hair,
My relatives called me Priss, that says it all,
I was a feisty, prissy little girl,
But neither family nor relatives ever knew
The other little girl under the curls,
Or the hurts she kept hidden.
Then it was Bucky, at least until the braces went on and came off.
Kirkwood symboled a new woman, married to the Olympic hero,
Sylvia disappeared behind him, became Ninkles – no, don’t ask.
Ah, but then came the real gifts!
Four beautiful gifts that encompassed the best of both,
The hero and the prissy, feisty girl.
Now the hair is white, but the feisty remains,
Hopefully less prissy, but not less spirited.
A journey through the names tells the story,
My story, and what a great story it’s been!