Upon a Son Deploying for the Second Time

Wet and slippery you emerge,
To swim in air.
Every morning, I greet you,
You smile and then open eyes,
Anticipating new day before you see.
You grow to fit a boy’s uniform and dusty cleats.
At dusk, your arm reaches for horizon,
To grab the fly ball;
Your skill surprises me,
You are so young.
Discouraged once, you say ‘quit’,
But stay and work to full count—Then—
Swing, whack, crack, gap!
No quit in you now.
In high school, you leap at volleyball,
And glide across ice with skates and stick,
Weapon at the ready.
You watch your brother go.
He says he goes so you won’t have to.
But you see horizon and reach once more;
Tall and lean, with shorn hair.
You’ve grown to fit a man uniform.
Keen eyes wide open now,
Scan horizon.
Faraway places call to you,
And go you must.
My prayers follow.

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