On Realizing His Toddler Will Become a Woman

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That you will suffer,that you will learn of worlds,that you will leave hereand contemplate failure,the tears that well upof their own accord. That you will growand love and fall, that each daywill demand its quota of pain—and must it be said?That one day, the tally of wonderscommonplace, your body markedby routine violence, you will returnhere and seek shelterfrom the marksman.That I could offerprotection, that I could draw youclose and, as now, humyou a lullaby—one from your childhood,the words forgotten. That this oldstrategy will be enough for you,once more, to leave.

© Neilson Shane