My Baby

My Baby

It’s all I ever hear from most of my friends. “My baby this, my baby that.”

“My baby is so beautiful!” Great.

“My baby is so precious!” Uh-huh.

So when they told me I was pregnant, I thought, so what. No big deal. I still had two years to finish high school and everything. I could go back.

Well, my baby has spina bifida. Never heard of it? I hadn’t. Not where I live. Nah, this is coal country. Here it’s full of good Christian folks, soldiers, workers at the glass factory in Matewan. Or what’s left of em.

No other person I know with what my baby has. I thought maybe that Sarah Palin lady. My friend, Jasmine, told me Sarah was on Oprah blabbing about her baby. But then Jasmine says it’s some other illness, and I asked, how do you know? And she says because I was listening real hard for the name. Besides, Jasmine says that lady is a gazillionaire. And I’m broke. I see a doctor at the free clinic in Huntington.

My boyfriend split. What a jerk. Couldn’t take it. Guilt, I guess. Gave it to me.

My momma says it’s my fault. Says it happened cause I stopped going to church. Says it’s all part of god’s plan.

Well, that’s not my god. What kind of god gives a baby spina bifida?

So, what do I do?

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About Robert Vaughan

Originally from NY, writer, editor, and workshop leader, his poems and fiction are widely published in print and online magazines, such as Necessary Fiction, BlazeVOX, Connotation Press, Metazen, Thrice, Literary Orphans and Housefire. He is Senior Flash editor at JMWW and Lost in Thought magazines and leads round- tables for Redoak Writing. He is a six times Pushcart Prize Nominee and his fiction and poetry have won awards, including a Micro-Fiction runner-up (2012) and twice a finalist in the Gertrude Stein Fiction Award (2013-14). His collections are: Microtones (Cervena Barva Press); Diptychs + Triptychs + Lipsticks + Dipshits (Deadly Chaps): Addicts & Basements (Civil Coping Mechanisms) and RIFT, co-authored with Kathy Fish (Unknown Press).
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7 Responses to My Baby

  1. Suzi says:

    How interesting that you chose to tell this from the female perspective. A sad but true commentary.

  2. Andrea says:

    A wonderfully written story, yet a sad truth.

  3. Beverly says:

    What timing you have! With the health care reform bill in the state it might be, these are the people that will be most affected by the politics. I admire you for giving voice to those who are not normally heard, are most often forgotten. Add to that her tragic circumstances. So sad, and yet leaving us with the question: what can WE do?

  4. david says:

    as Dolly Parton said.. Down from Dover…

    and so it is..

    Is this a personal experience?

    How about a story about a gay hairdresser?

  5. Tom Froehlich says:

    Well that was sad! But even through a monologue you tell a great story. Nice job! Might want to rework this: I noticed a word is missing or something? “No other person I know with what my baby has.” I don’t think a person who uses the word “nah” would use the word “hadn’t.” Just a thought. Maybe, “I never did?”

  6. Dez says:

    Wow, powerful, really sad and like with most of your writing, I wanted more. You build such empathy for this character. You raise some really huge unanswered questions toward the end, too. Questions that many of us struggle with and possibly never really resolve. So natural to leave the way they are, and yet such depth there too.

  7. Kerry says:

    Robert, thank you for sharing your blog with me and sending the daily flashes. I have truly enjoyed reading each piece you’ve put out here. It amazes me how gifted you truly are. You have the ability to capture the sheer essence in so many different people/situations/etc. Sometimes your poignancy is heart rending, other times you are hilarious. You have the gift of capturing the underlying emotion and making it real. You really do create miniature pictures… Your style differs with each piece, as you try different techniques, scenarios, and depending on what you want to convey but yet there is something about each one that says “Robert Vaughan”. I have read sooo many books over the years, of all different genres, styles, authors and I would buy your books at the store if they were published. I look forward to reading even more from you and would love for you to take some of these shorts expand/develop them into their intended story line/conclusion.

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