Fatherhood seeds the reign of vulnerability: 
Steel-toe boots demand calloused but open palms, 
and the never-ending inning birthed a gritty bullpen. 
They’ve tweaked the mound but it’s always 
been like this. Fortunately, when clouds look like 
liger cubs, a maple tree can become a barrel, 
and is our son waiting to learn a launch angle 
previously undiscovered. I’ll remain perpetually short 
of declaring war. Boiling rapids for him, downriver 
from someone humming Vivaldi.


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