The first one came on October 20, 1923, somewhere in Guilford County, North Carolina. The record read: stillborn, no sex, no father listed.
The second one came in March of 1928.
The mother was older now, a little healthier. This child came into this world with life. The record read: live birth, female, father’s name listed. The listed father walked away from the mother sometime between their marriage in 1924 and this live birth in 1928. Was he really the father? Some had their suspicions.
Over the next 16 years, the mother’s belly swelled nine more times.
They slid out like slimy black eels. One by one they would die from influenza, pneumonia, poverty.
Some took no breath. A few breathed for a few moments, others a few months. Their names and sexes were lost through time, but they all had one thing in common, no father listed.
It was not until May 1944 when the last one came. The record read: live birth, female, no father listed.
The last one is still breathing, but she died long ago.