Anne Caryl

Page Four
A Christmas Poem
Merry Christmas. Are you kidding me?
About Me
The Gold Train Connection
Back to Reason
Virtual Art Gallery

From the sofa, she could see the doll collection filling the bookcase. One whole wall a shrine to her childhood. She got up, walked to the shelves and picked up a poodle-skirted Barbie. For long moments she stood staring at the doll , squeezing it in white knuckled grasp, then let it fall to the floor. The wall clock ticked in reproach and Macie picked up the doll, sighing.

She returned the toy to its perch and walked to the window, peering into the early dark. If only she could shake this edginess. She didn’t understand all the things that went on at the clinic. She did know that Dr. Sorkin provided fetuses to a colleague. Something about research, and now there was this manSteve.

He’d shown up, white cane tapping the clinic floor, after closing one night. His frumpy wife led him to the examination room. When Dr. Sorkin saw Macie standing by the reception desk, his face paled and he’d seemed distraught. He’d cleared his throat, and then asked her to come into the room with them.

Months later Steve had surgery. One of four, Macie was told: two more men and a woman. Then, just last week…

“Can I help you?” Macie hadn’t recognized the couple when they’d entered as she shut the computer down for the night.

“Sorkin isn’t expecting us?” The man jerked his head and the woman behind him took his coat as he shrugged it off. He picked up a pen from the counter, rotated it, studying the printing on the barrel, and then spoke. “Steve Voight, remember?”     

The doctor had hurried to greet them and escort them into his office. Macie still could see her employer’s expression: his eyes bright under bushy brown eyebrows, his mouth stretched in a tight grin.

Behind her, Phil stirred, returning her thoughts to the present. “Anything wrong?” He came to stand beside her.

“I’m just thinking about Steve. About the transplant.”

“What’s to think about? You don’t know anything. The guy was blind and now he sees. Kind of like a Bible story. Speaking of that, how in the world can old Sorkin live with himself up to his neck, so to speak, in stem-cells? I thought religious people all opposed stem-cell research. Falwell certainly is against it.”

Macie rolled her eyes. “Most fundamentalists are. They say it violates the Hippocratic Oath. You know, they have to kill an embryo to get the cells. It’s another take on the abortion thing. But those fetuses would be destroyed anyway, so why not use them?”

“I suppose that makes sense. IF you can get past the thing about killing babies.”

Macie stiffened. “ I don’t know if they are babies. They don’t look like much until they’re a couple months old.”

“So, what does Sorkin say?”


“Justify what he does.” Phil had his glasses off again, cleaning them on his shirttail.

“I don’t think he feels he has to justify it.”

“Is that what you think?” Phil squinted at her over the top of his glasses.

“I don’t know. I’ve been wondering lately about….” Macie realized she had wrapped her arms tightly around her abdomen, and she dropped them to her sides. Inexplicably, tears welled in her eyes. She turned so Phil couldn’t see them. “ It’s not fair to pick on me like this. You’ve got it all together. I haven’t. I’m not perfect like you.”

“Whoa. Where‘d that come from? I just asked a question.”

Red Arrow 4

Anne Caryl
504 East Furry St.
Holyoke, Co. 80734