En el rincón más lejos

by Julia Moss

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A woman glances up from where she has been sleeping, on a blanket on the ground. Her voice is distant as she tells us that, yes, her son was born two nights before, stillborn, already in the ground.

A mother’s deft hands untie the assortment of cloths that protect her 4 year old son’s feeding tube from his curious hands, revealing a broken plug that won’t be fixed anytime soon.

A comadrona uses an app on her cell phone and attaches a portable ultrasound monitor to the full belly of her patient. She hears the baby’s quick heartbeat, ba-boom ba-boom ba-boom. Just 3 days before the due date, the baby is healthy.

A young woman’s heart beats tick-tick tick-tick, her mechanical aortic valve doing its job to help her heart pump blood throughout her body.

A woman winces as her finger is pricked and glances at the nurse with expectation as the glucometer calculates her blood glucose level. She already stopped drinking juice and soda. She’s started walking. How is her sugar still too high?

A little girl gazes over the edge of the t-shirt she easily lifts to reveal a line of sutures in the center of her chest, evidence of the surgery to repair a heart with too many holes. Another stethoscope placed on her chest, this time the heartbeat is strong and steady.

A mother lifts her squirmy baby into the cloth seat that hangs from a scale, holding her breath as he cries out, as she waits to hear if he has gained any weight since the last visit.

A woman smiles hesitantly, lifting the scarf tied around her head to reveal an inch and a half of dark hair. The chemotherapy worked.

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