Kelley White
The Chief Complaint Was Rat Bites

A toddler, all limbs swollen, unmoving. The mother states he was fine when she put him down for his nap. I carry the child to my own car, to my own child's car seat. We drive, the mother and I. The child is more comfortable and I realize the seat has splinted his injuries. X-ray confirms the suspected diagnosis—four long-bone fractures. In six months I will be called to testify. In court the mother states the father threw her down the stairs with the child in her arms. The man claims she used the baby's body to batter in a doorway after he'd locked her in the bathroom. Between these stories what is there to choose?