They call me Jessie Lynn


William Warren

Me, standing in my Aunt’s backyard with a tulip in hand on Easter Sunday. I was feeling particularly like Jessie Lynn in this moment.

They call me Jessie Lynn,

because that is my name—

at least according to the remarks often made when I try to rationalize it all.


Because at school, people call me Jessie.

Sweet and straightforward in its candor,

it is a name that I adore.

With an aroma of lavender and a taste of sugared orange slices,

it has always felt natural as it rolls off my tongue.


Then there is Jess,

a name I only let a select few call me—

though that has shifted slowly as I become less prone

to intervening.


And while Lynn is a name I adore—

a name that sings like songbirds and reminds me of springtime—

no one uses it the way they do.


“This is Jessie Lynn.”

As if without my middle name I am but half of who I am.

As if Jessie Lynn were a girl that everyone knew—

a girl who not only learns new card games and strolls through museums,

but sits in classrooms and roams through school hallways.


I wish they all called me Jessie Lynn—

because even though Jessie is all I need to be to feel whole—

there is something about her that simply feels



Something about her that I will never shake,

and seemingly never want to.