I’m the only one in the family
with a name that has three different meanings
*Woof* Bao isn’t even a dog name.
I know, because my human parents told me.
It means: treasure (in Chinese) and protector (in Vietnamese),
It also means: steamed buns, a dish part of dim sum,
something my parents love to eat.
And truth be told, that description is about right
because I am definitely a treasured protector to my parents
I just need to remind them I’m so much more than delicious buns.
My name labors out of some human’s mouths
in an awkward and painful way
I hear my parents tell their friends on the phone:
BOW, like take a BOW, not bo-ah.
I’ve learned not to bark when I hear their friends mispronounce it.
Mom says she thought it was an awesome name.
Gave me this gift of being a fierce protector and now curses
how well I herd the three of us together in the same room.
My parents probably wanted a dog who would sit in her crate
and chew on her kong while not barking when they left the room for a minute.
Instead, they got a loyal 10-week old pup who is just getting started,
unless they try to leave me alone in my crate again.
*inspired by Elizabeth Acevedo’s “Names” in The Poet X