Down where the Pine River laps at the cold mud, near a dripping aqueduct, I find a newborn baby with flippers instead of arms and legs.
Blue flowers in her cheeks, thin mist curling from her lips. She's almost dead.
I lift her naked from the mud and bundle my sweater around her. Poor abandoned thing. She'll die, no question about that. In minutes, probably. Something so bungled can't last. Already she has outlived her welcome.
But I will stay here and hold her while she goes.
Never in my whole life have I held a baby before.