On Cacoepy (Mispronunciation of names)
by Laurie Kolp

From a very young age I learned
to cope with people calling me
Lori and Laura instead of Laurie—
which is pronounced lär-ē, I might add—
but who cares? After all this time
I answer to just about anything

except for kelp. Now don’t get me wrong
I love my husband in every regard,
but this last name, Kolp, is quite hard
to discern even though it’s phonetically
easy to read, people still jumble it up
mangle letters and coin misnomers

like coil and Coe, mumbles of coal—
no, not in stockings, across the gym—
as my child is called for an award
another clop on down the line of three
come on up to the stage, Mr. Cope,
which is what we’ve all learned to do.

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTO: Snagging my man . . . and his last name, too. Our wedding day, 9/19/98.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I’ve incorporated all the different ways people say Kolp: cope, kelp, coil, Coe, coal, clop. I guess the closest is coal with a P.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Laurie Kolp is an avid runner, lover of nature, mother of three, and wife to former Marine who enjoys living life one day at a time in Southeast Texas. She is the author of Upon the Blue Couch (Winter Goose Publishing, 2014) and Hello It’s Your Mother (Finishing Line Press, October 2015). Recent publications include the 2015 Poet’s Market, Scissors & Spackle, North Dakota Quarterly, Red River Review, and Pirene’s Fountain. You can find out more about Laurie on her website, http://lauriekolp.com.