I Am

a story by

Janice Daugharty

Smashwords Edition

Copyright 2010 by Janice Daugharty

“Daugharty writes taut and vivid prose that brands white-hot images on your gray matter and makes you sit up straight with admiration.” Washington Post Book World

I Am

She used to sing when she rocked her own baby, but Kate knows if she opens her mouth now the only sound that will come out is crying, and she’ll never be able to stop crying, so she hums. Lips sealed, humming, she rocks... Then she smiles.

Inside Labor and Delivery, starting her twelve-hour shift, a yawning 6 am to 6 pm, Kate had found the nurses in pastel print scrubs gabbing at the front desk.

Shelia, her fave, was sampling articles from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Every day she wore boxy, white cable-stitch cardigans over her uniforms, not for warmth but to conceal her straight-up-and-down, big-boned frame.

“What’s up?” Kate said, stepping alongside her behind the main desk. In one hand was a small lumpy brown paper sack.

Shelia lowered the paper to the white desktop, reading: “Says here: `The Georgia legislature failed to reach a majority vote to administer pain meds to fetuses during abortion.’”

“How come, did they say?”

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