Between Women By Polly Bringhurst body to Amy and she reverently placed the dead Amy stared at the stillborn puppies, tears of devastation on her cheeks. She grasped my hand and pleaded, “Save them.” puppies against their mother, hoping one might suckle, knowing it wasn’t meant to be. Briar Rose looked at us with big brown eyes and whimpered her sorrow. Turning her head, she The puppies and their mother, Briar Rose, were Amy’s whole world. This wasn’t began to lick her dead babies, offering the only act of motherhood she could give. about lost profits from buyers expecting healthy “Will you pray with me?” Amy asked. Rotties—my sister didn’t need the money— these were her babies, the only children she would ever have, and as a mother, I understood. Tenderly, I lifted a tiny wet body and held it in my palm, exposing the soft belly. I smelled the newness, felt the warmth of being sheltered in a womb. With one finger placed on the breast, centered between the front legs, I began compressions. “One, two, three, four, five.” And while I pumped the heart with my finger, I placed my mouth over a face of innocence and whispered, “Breathe.” The smooth round belly rose slightly, inflated by false air. A taste of hope touched my tongue, and I willed a miracle. None came. With each failed resuscitation, I passed a I squeezed her hand and rested the other on Briar Rose. Forming a circle of love, we sent the babies back to God, and asked Her for peace.