Frank knew the moment he entered that Martha’s condition was not good. The heaviness in the home was palpable. Margaret’s entire family was there, and everyone was hushed and somber. Margaret was in the front room, slowly rocking a listless and shallow-breathing Martha, whose coloring had lost all rosiness. She was grimacing in pain but didn’t have enough energy to cry. Margaret didn’t acknowledge Frank – didn’t offer to have him hold Martha – didn’t even raise her head.
Frank stood by the door, not speaking a word, ignored by all as Margaret rocked her infant child. She rocked until Martha was totally blue and developed the splotches from pooled blood that no longer coursed through her delicate veins. She rocked until her mother finally came over and tenderly put a hand on her shoulder.
“She’s gang, Margaret. Gie the wee bairn tae me.”
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