“Call Me Carlye”

“Call Me Carlye”
Carlye and I at a holiday party a few years ago

Today is the birthday of my best friend and the most beautiful person I know. Today is Carlye’s birthday.

There is so much to celebrate when I think of Carlye. Her laugh, her smile, her fortitude, her inspiration, her conviction – her life.

“Call Me Carlye”
Carlye and husband David at their favorite place in the world

Happy happy birthday Carlye!  I wanted to write something that would reflect her spirit and beauty, both inside and out. So, in my best attempt to write in the style of my favorite poet, Maya Angelou, here goes:

“Call Me Carlye”

Imagine a newborn, big-eyed, brown, baby girl
Waiting to see her world.
 Waiting to receive a name.

Let’s call her Fannie Mae,

She’ll stay in this place.

No, let’s call her Bonnie Brown,
She’ll never leave this town.

Then the universe had an aha! moment,

and said,

Inspired by beautiful – beautiful woman, beautiful mind,
And a spirit for life.

The town laughed and said it was sure

This child was special, and sure to explore.

The universe whispered,
And a world leaned forward.

A grandmother, Mrs. Wilson, lifted her up
To show her to God,
And God said,
I’m going to show you a road to your future.

And in a land named Texas she began to see herself.
Someone said,
What’s your name?
She said, Carlye.

And, what do you do?
She said, I am being Carlye.

And then she stood tall.
She saw no one higher than herself,
And no one lower.

New York asked Carlye,
“Come, by the shining river and the beautiful city
Will you come here
And share your gifts and talent, Carlye?”

She said, “Yes.
And in doing so, I want to give voice to those in and around me,
To the voiceless. To the quiet. To the less sure.
Call me Carlye.”

Those around her began to know her and call her by her name.


And wherever she went, she created community.

And she said, Yes.


Everyone who sat by her had a place to be.

And people listened to her
For more years than were actually there.
And she listened.

She said be strong,
be kind,
and call me Carlye.

I am Carlye.