Eponymous – Alanna Shaikh

It was 2001, my father was talking –

You don’t have to keep my name, he said
I know Shaikh’s a lot to carry, especially now
and Alanna would match any last name

Kevin’s got a nice quiet name,
and he’s about to be your husband
His name would protect you

Or lose the men completely
Your mother was a Lee once
Lee’s a safe name

But remember,
You don’t need the label, he said
You’re always my daughter

Alanna Shaikh

Alanna Shaikh is a first-generation American. Her poetry is influenced by Northern New York state where she grew up and her work in global health and pandemic response. Her poetry has been published in Crab Creek Review, Gordon Square Review and Moon City Review, among others.

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