If We Name Our Daughter Laura By Katy McAllister

If We Name Our Daughter Laura

She’ll arrive like a freight train hurtling
over pennysilver tracks by the trembling glass panes
of my apartment. Loud, not in her voice which is soft
like the sift of powdered sugar, but in the way
she barrels out of me, with a painful

cracking of ribs. Before I tell you, I go to the herbalists
for a green bottled tonic labeled “How Your Daughter Will
Look When She Grows Up”. It smells sickly sweet and I see her,
nineteen years later and 50% red wine, 30% northern lights and 20%
smearing sticky red lipstick on her lips in the mirror. I want

to go home to you and say we’re going to have a daughter
but Laura is such an unlucky name, the name of my grandmothers
stillborn fourth child, so I tell her ‘I’m not ready to be your
mother.’ I buy a bottle of tiny blue pills too,
called ’25 Ways to Help Your Baby Girl Sleep’.

By Katy McAllister


Katy is a gardener from Michigan now living in the mountains of North Carolina. She likes to drink tea and watch bad fantasy movies in her spare time.

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