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by Sarah Freligh

We had them because the rubber broke while hot and heavy in the backseat of the drive-in, because ginger-ale was an old wives’ tale. Because there was no morning-after pill, not yet, no abortion that wasn’t back-alley Detroit or two weeks in Sweden. Because nice girls refused to tuck rubbers in the coin purse of their billfolds. Because we could ignore the whispers in the checkout aisle at the A&P or later at graduation when we crossed the stage with bellies out to here. Because we were mostly okay with all of it until the afternoon of the baby shower when we passed joints and a warm bottle of Andre and cried a little about all the life we’d never get to live because, face it, we would always be the girls who had to.

Sarah Freligh is the author of Sad Math, winner of the 2014 Moon City Press Poetry Prize and the 2015 Whirling Prize from the University of Indianapolis; A Brief Natural History of an American Girl (Accents Publishing, 2012); and Sort of Gone (Turning Point Books, 2008). Recent work has appeared in the Cincinnati Review, SmokeLong Quarterly, diode, and in the anthologies New Microfiction and Best Microfiction 2019. Among her awards are a 2009 poetry fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and a grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation in 2006.