Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Click Beetle

One comment

I named you because I had to, my bright incantation,
because I was told all wild, gleaming,
snapping things were meant to be catalogued
and called like chants, like whispered omens, like spells.
This is how wild things are tamed, how rare things
are treasured. So I named you,
but I couldn't call you what I wanted,
couldn't say the name of any glimmering thing:
dogbane, giant stag, golden tortoise, Hercules.
Couldn't call you after shining things,
little pieces of jewelry, iridescent as bubbles,
their shells metallic and just as hard.
I couldn't call you after luminous, monstrous things,
with their backs as bright as the bite of their pincers.
I couldn't name you after a wild thing, an animal thing,
the thing that you are, little beast,
little glimmering, clicking creature.
I named you because I had to.
I named you Henry because little else would fit.


Rhiannon Conley is a poet and writing instructor living in North Dakota. In 2017 she was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her first chapbook, Less Precious, was published by Semiperfect Press in 2017. She writes an irregular newsletter of short poetic essays called Smol Talks, and more regularly, Tweets.


More from



Rhiannon, your poem Click Beetle lit me up with a smile. My daughter is naming her baby to be born in November, Sapphire. Originally, the name was to be Sapphire Seraphim but after several months, she has changed Seraphim to Victoria. Your poem helped me to understand her inclination. My first full collection, Beauty Bound, is in Advance Sales at Main Street Rag Publishers online, if you get time to check it out or if you know anyone interested, please pass the word. Thank you, Marsha
Comments are now closed for this piece.