I flunked out of nursing school and you met a guy, moved into his condo and got pregnant; in that order. I hustled tables at the Varsity while you bought baby clothes and ignored my calls.
When you lost the baby and my phone finally rang.
Up to the third floor of the hospital where you were alone, smelling of blood and sweat. Shaking, crying; inconsolable.
My hands awkward on your body, your damp hair. Your face pressed into my palm.
She’s gone, you said. My baby’s gone. Your chest rising and falling, your breath hot on my hand.
Nurses came to clean you up and lead me out to the family room. I sat on a plastic chair and watched a doctor in the hall with a bundle of you in his arms.
Do you want to hold her?
My mouth full of cotton, muscles that wouldn’t move. Then she was in my arms. A part of you. Us both still, not breathing.
They took her away and gave her to you. I watched you crumble through the wired glass.
Then he arrived; spat and told me to get out. Called me dyke as the elevator door closed.
I heard he got back together with his ex, and you moved back to Memphis to your parents.
I got drunk and drove my car into a tree. Broke my nose and lost my license.
About the author:
Lucy McKee is a writer and RN living in Kansas City. Her distractions include two dogs, a cat, and a room full of half-finished knitting projects.