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time to join the marching line

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She's still young when it happens, when she chooses a little girl with bright eyes over an entire life.

She's still young and perhaps she doesn't understand what it means to be a mother -- not for a few weeks, but forever. Perhaps she's missing something the stars have prescribed for her -- some myth of picket fences and babies at the teat.

She's still young and doesn't know that the dreams her mother has, dreams of Siobhan glowing in white, clutching her mother's hands and happy, so happy, are the variations and themes of the dreams she'll have for Sarah. First safe, always that, then looking up at her with a solemn contentment, the same eyes she sees now. Watching and learning.

She's still young and knows the word danger, but not the meaning. Love. Devotion. Desperation. She knows the clutch of fingers at the neckline of her blouse, at her skirt. She knows she won't be called mum forever.