That you will suffer,
that you will learn of worlds,
that you will leave here
and contemplate failure,
the tears that well up
of their own accord. That you will grow
and love and fall, that each day
will demand its quota of pain—
and must it be said?
That one day, the tally of wonders
commonplace, your body marked
by routine violence, you will return
here and seek shelter
from the marksman.
That I could offer
protection, that I could draw you
close and, as now, hum
you a lullaby—one from your childhood,
the words forgotten. That this old
strategy will be enough for you,
once more, to leave.
On Realizing His Toddler Will Become a Woman
By Shane Neilson