I was only a baby when I made
my first baby; thirteen years old, bumming
a ride from middle school. He was a slick
old janitor named Tony in a boat
of a car. We went sailing into the mid-
afternoon traffic. It wasn’t until
I was older that I understood. “What
a monster,” they said. I found my way home
somehow; battered like a crow in a dark
tornado. It was weeks before I told
Mother. I knew once the puking began.
I told them to stop. I begged for mercy
but no one listened to my cries “because
Mother said so.” They said “count backwards from
one hundred.” “What monsters,” I thought as I
fell adrift. My cries turned to wolves with their
breaths descending upon me as I held
you close to my bosom and ran. I woke
to a red smoldering pain in my gut.
I still remember naming you Michael.
Raechel Coffey is from Rochester, New York. She attended the University of Rochester where she majored in Mathematics and minored in English. She lost her ten-year-old daughter to murder in 2011 and some of her poems reflect the depth of this loss.