Tuesday, December 6, 2011


My mother named me Deirdre. Mom got the name from a book of legends and most people ‘round these parts have never heard of it before. The tale of Deirdre is an old one. In it, a baby girl is born and it is foretold that she will be the most beautiful woman in the world. Unlike the famous Deirdre, I can only pretend to be beautiful. Here, sitting in the half-light of dusk on the rusty old porch swing, you might say I’m a little bit pretty, at least.

My mother named me Deirdre, but it must have been a leap of faith, really. She never stuck around to see how I’d grow up. It’s been just me and Dad in this rickety old house since I was seven. But I remember the tales my mother told me. Deirdre’s story is my favorite, of course. Deirdre did grow up to be a beauty and men couldn’t help but love her. I guess that’s kind of true for me, too. Dad has loved me lots. “Making up for the whole lack of mom,” he’d say.  See, I know he loves me well and I’ve got the belly to prove it. People have been shaking their heads about it, though. “Fifteen,” they say, “And already pregnant.”

In Deirdre’s tale, she was so beautiful that men were always fighting over her. In a way, that’s happening to me now, too. Do you think mom knew? I watch the sun go down and I wonder what ever happened to that fairy tale book, and where Dad is. He hasn’t come home yet and I wish he would. He knows the man will be here soon, the one with the slick suit who wants to take me away. The one who said “You should be in a safe place where you’ll be taken care of properly,” all in smooth, confident tones. I’m sure Dad wants me to stay here with him, but this guy told me there will be some sort of battle over it.

I know what I will tell him though, this fancy creature coming up our gravel drive all the way from the big city.  I’ve been practicing the words all day. “I am already taken care of,” I’ll say, “I’m loved, fought over, sometimes even told I’m pretty. It’s just like a fairy tale.”

My mother named me Deirdre, and Deirdre I am.  But what’s in a name, right?


  1. whoa, that is quite the tale. Written so well. My heart is tender now.

  2. Thank you for the lovely comment Tammie!