fiction by Racelle Rosett Schaefer

Milk

The notice had been xeroxed onto a piece of paper, cut thin like a bookmark and passed out to members of the congregation between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Someone who knew her had given it to her mother, and her mother had given it to her. A request was being made for breast milk for a newborn whose mother had leukemia and was undergoing chemotherapy. The white slips of paper were distributed throughout the Jewish community in the hope that a nursing mother would respond. Her mother had simply laid the paper on the table between them. It seemed obvious. It had logic. She would pump the milk with an electric pump from the Breast Pump station. She had laughed with the telephone operator when she’d asked for the number. They had rented it some weeks before the baby was due. It sat there near the bed, gray and formidable. She had been shy of it.

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