Naming

by Christine Stewart-Nuñez Issue: Spring 2015
I named my child Holden not 
because of the book character 
or soap opera hunk but because 
it sounded solid, stable, and meant 
calm, gracious—good attributes 
for a man—and because it was 
derived from a hollow in the valley.
As I listed it among possibilities, 
I remembered camping between 
forested hills along the Mississippi, 
stargazing into endlessness, and how 
I stared into the bonfire knowing God 
was there—Infinity in constellations
and flames—and I wanted to give all 
this to my son. It wasn’t until Holden 
was four, when I searched seizure disorder 
for the one-thousandth time, that I read 
epilepsy: from Greek 
leps-, future stem 
of lambaneinto take 
hold of.


Christine Stewart-Nuñez is the author of five poetry collections: Snow, Salt, Honey; Keeping Them Alive; Postcard on Parchment; Unbound & Branded; and The Love of Unreal Things. The University of New Mexico Press published her book, Untrussed, in 2016. She is an Associate Professor in the English Department at South Dakota State University.