The First Lady

from Victo Dolore

Behind the White Coat

Liberty's torch

I put the baby to my breast. She ate greedily.

So tiny for such a strong suck.

He had not come home yet. He did not know that she was a she and not a he. He would be angry, I knew. Would he let me keep her or would he kill her as he had the other three? Would he beat me as he had before?

Look, she is so beautiful, so perfect! Why can’t you love her?

Why can’t you love me?

The midwife busied herself quietly putting the room back in order.

He would never pay for a doctor or a hospital. Not for me, he said. I was not worth it.

A woman.

A girl.

Someday I would leave him. I would run away. Far, far away. But to where? And they would find me, wouldn’t they? They always did. If I was lucky, they would…

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