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"Thy Name Shall No More Be" by Whitney Hemsath

Updated: Oct 28, 2023


by Whitney Hemsath

For John H. Groberg

They had tapa, taro, and tides,

fellowship, feasts, and faith.

But when the missionary sailed in,

they had no G, R, or B to greet him.

Kolipoki, they said.

Kolipoki he became.

Perhaps this renaming was coincidence;

nothing more than languages colliding,

breaking as naturally as waves upon the shore.

Or perhaps, like Abram, Simon, and Jacob,

he was renamed, rebirthed, reminded

that he had crossed paths with heaven

and could never be the same.

This piece was published in 2023 as part of the Around the World in Mormon Literature contest by the Mormon Lit Lab. Sign up for our newsletter for future updates.

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