Nursing My Daughter

Emily Hockaday


Nursing my daughter, I didn’t know it,
but the ghost was already with me.
The water I drank wasn’t water but the ghost.
the more I drank the thirstier I became.
And the look on the baby’s face—
the more I loved the less love I needed.
I was turning into love; I held the baby
and the ghost; I gave them sustenance.
The ghost was trying to teach me
about need. About the right and wrong
way to love. I suppose I haven’t yet learned.




Emily Hockaday is a Queens-based poet and editor. Her newest chapbook, Beach Vocabulary, is forthcoming from Red Bird Chaps. She is author of Space on Earth (Grey Book Press), Ophelia: A Botanist’s Guide (Zoo Cake Press), What We Love & Will Not Give Up (Dancing Girl Press), and Starting a Life (Finishing Line Press). Her poems have appeared in numerous journals, most recently Newtown Literary, The Maine Review, and Salt Hill. She is Associate Editor of Analog Science Fiction & Fact and Asimov’s Science Fiction, and she can be found on the web at and @E_Hockaday.