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The Small Thing

The document gently slides out of the machine and lands on the plastic dock.

It reads that I will become someone else's baby for the last year of my childhood.


She holds the document close to her face because she is near-sighted and teary,

And I push the pen across the surface in her direction.

This is what a mother knows to do:

Carry the small thing.

Similar to how she held me when I was four And wiped the hay fever out of my nose with her sherpa jacket.


The room waits quietly for her to sign me off.

I stare at my hands, ashamed to be prying myself out of her arms.


The pen clicks.


This is what a mother knows to do:

Carry the small thing.

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