Kathy Fish

Sister Mary Christopher refuses the ambulance. She wants to stay put.
"They can give you morphine there."
She shakes her head, so much smaller without her habit. A wren, fragile and beakish.
"Baptism is a little exorcism," she says. "Did you know that? So is Extreme Unction."
I know she wants the priest.
Sister spiders her fingers out of the sheets, asks again if she can hold the baby.
"When I was little," I tell her, "I thought it was called Extry Munction. One more Munction!"
I can hear the kids from the parochial school in the social room, giving their recital for the nuns.
"Morphine is just like a dream, Sister. It's really nice. In the hospital they'll give you all you want." She kicks off her blankets. Her toes are curled tightly.
"The baby. . ." she says.
She'd made the Sign of the Cross over my belly. She wanted me to name the baby Mary Margaret, but I had something else in mind.
"Listen," I say. "Do you hear the children?"