Before you were born
I knew you were someone special
and needed a unique name;
there are too many girls called
After a long search
—not easy in the days before Google—
I found your name in a library book.
Though we didn’t know the sex
of our unborn child
we didn’t choose a boy’s name
because once we saw
and learned that it means “tenderness”
we knew you were our Mahalia.
And like Oprah, Cher, and Madonna
you have always been known
by your first name.
was born in South Africa and now lives in Los Angeles. She loves hiking and shares her fascination for the natural world by leading school children on hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains. Her poetry has been published in Blue Heron Review, Contrary Magazine, MacQueen’s Quinterly, ONE ART, Verse-Virtual, and Writing in a Woman’s Voice.
⚡ The tree which moves some to tears of joy,
is in the eyes of others only a green thing by Roseanne Freed in Issue 14 of MacQ (August 2022).