International Writers Magazine
First Life Steps
Gordon Ray Bourgon
name is Jane Doe.
Who? The baby?
No. The mother. Theyre pressing charges.
Poor little thing.
No. The baby. It was touch and go for a while.
We thought she wouldnt make it.
Sad faces in the
midst of this story of survival. The narcotics of despair, and
the thin filament of hope, propel action and instigate delay. They look
In the ICU, the fragile infant is hooked up and connected with tubes
and wires. She breathes like a helpless bird fallen from its nest.
At least she is breathing now. On the gurney, before, her tiny body
stilled, and something threatened to escape her corporeal shell. No
bigger than a loaf of bread, light as chiffon. Puffy eyes, sunken
cheeks, wet lips, thin, slick, dark hair. Skin like roseate parchment.
The weight of eyes on her, waiting for the miraculous. A feeble
movement of finger or ear, a subtle thank you to her saviours.
Everyone on the sixth floor stares at her, as though through osmosis
they will be strong. Their empty lives need the girl to pull through,
to fill them with a new purpose, a crystalline perception.
Nurse Jones is hurt by the senselessness of it all. She hates
the world that allows someone to do this. Her anger is not for the individual,
but for all those who allow madness into their lives.
Moses is confused but knows he is doing the right thing. It is
warm and dry in the hospital. The lights are bright, intelligent. He
feels eyes on him, his dirty clothes and tattered shoes. Careful
not to press the baby against his dirt and stink. Keep walking, to someone
with a kind face.
Jane Doe is swaddled. If only her tiny eyes could open, she would
see people hurrying past, in a rush to survive through any means necessary.
She hears familiar footsteps walking away.
© Gordon Bourgon
October 8th 2008
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