Under His Breath by David Subacchi

Welcome to a series of eight weekly poems on the theme ‘change of identity’.Our guest editor Degna Stone has this to say about David’s poem: The idea of shifting identity is depicted through responses to life’s changes by subtly changing a given name. There’s a beautiful moment of tenderness toward the end of the poem that shows a deep connection to personal heritage too.


Italian blood Wales born

It read Davide

On my birth certificate,

But most of the time

I was David,

That’s how it was

In those days.


At school

And with friends,

My name was Dai,

A South Walian

Popular version,

Down to earth

Fitted in.


Uni in Liverpool,

Dave took over,


Long hair,

Baggy trousers,

One of the lads

‘No Davids here mate’


But David returned

For the world

Of office work

And long career,

Suited London,

Blended nicely.


Back in Wales

An old man

Once called me


An ancient variant,

I was flattered


But it didn’t fit.

To mum I’m still

David, but to Dad

Seven years passed,

I was sometimes Davide

Under his breath                                   


David Subacchi lives in Wales (UK) where he was born of Italian roots. He studied at the University of Liverpool. He has four published collections of his English Language poetry and one in Welsh. He has also begun to write in Italian. You can find out more about David at https://www.writeoutloud.net/profiles/davidsubacchi



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