FRED CHAPPELL


 A Star Is Born


 The teacher drones Geography
 While Kate discovers her new name.
 Three she has; she hates all three.
 “Kate” has long outlived its time,

 She being out of pigtails now,
 Imagining a future life
 Of sequin sparkle, footlight glow,
 In which she is nobody’s wife,

 Unshackled to a
Butts or Snodgrass.
 Why are boys named “Doc” and “Bud”?
 Any “Pudge” will be a lard-ass;
 Every Elmer is a Fudd.

 She tries to mutate “Katherine”
 Into something bright and starrable,
 But “Kathy” is plain as a bobby pin
 And “Kat” is plainly horrible.

 Now Mr. Grobb pokes with his pointer
 A map-dot he calls “Tivoli,”
 A name that any Kate might ponder
 As suiting her most suitably.

 The thought occurs she clutches a hoard
 Of names to bring her fame and luck;
 To her shall be revealed the Word,
 Her Name, in the geography book;

 The small-print index shall provide.
 
Katherine Braxton Hobbs, thirteen
 Years old, deceased—as certified
 By
Venezuela Aberdeen.
CAVE WALL PRESS, LLC
After 40 years of English teaching at UNCG, Fred Chappell retired in 2004. There
was a sigh of relief on both sides. His most recent book of poetry is
Backsass from LSU
Press. 2007 will see some of his series of tales about a Shadow Master published in such
august journals as
Weird Tales and Fantasy & Science Fiction.