Grant Gerald Miller – MY WIFE BEARS THE 45TH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

It’s near dawn when my wife goes into labor. She’s having contractions, she says. And will I drive her to the hospital. Of course, I will drive my pregnant wife to the hospital. I load my pregnant wife into the car and I throw the new car seat in the back. At the hospital, I help my pregnant wife into the waiting room and the nurse says she’ll be with us soon. She looks at us and shakes her head. My wife and I sit in the waiting room and we watch a show about homesteaders in Alaska. I tell my wife to breathe. Not yet, she says. Well, you better breathe anyway, I tell her. On the television, a man has cut a hole in some ice and he’s baiting a line to throw down the hole to hopefully catch some fish. Before we see if he’s caught a fish or not, the show cuts to a commercial about smartphones. A nurse wheels out a bed. We lift my wife onto it and I tell her to breath. She begins to sweat and to make awful noises. I begin to wonder if this is my wife at all. Before we get into the delivery room my wife squeezes the baby out onto the rolling bed. We all stop and gasp. The nurse can’t stop staring at the baby. She picks it up, straightens its tie. Is it a boy or a girl? I ask the nurse. She shakes her head at us again. Congratulations, she says. It’s the 45th President of the United States of America. She holds him out and my wife takes him and straightens his suit and pulls him close to her breast. She guides her nipple into his mouth. This is the most beautiful 45th President of the United States I have ever seen, my wife says. She is glowing. Beaming. Isn’t he wonderful? She says. The 45th President of the United States’ eyes dart around the room. He spits up some white bile. Are you happy? I ask my wife. I never thought I would know happiness. And now I do, my wife says. The 45th President of the United States begins to wail. We swaddle him in a blanket. We wheel my wife into a private room. The television is on. The same show about Alaskan homesteaders is playing, and the man who’d dug the hole in the ice has caught some salmon. They are big and bright and silver and they hang on a string like characters on a mobile. The man looks pleased to have caught so many bright and shiny fish.

 

 

 

Grant Gerald Miller was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama and an assistant editor at Black Warrior Review. His work has appeared or is set to appear in various journals including Hobart, Qu Magazine, Pom Pom Lit, Necessary Fiction, and Nimrod.

 

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