[31] Gaslighting Yourself, K.G. Newman


First, out of love for his son,
and also out of conflicting loyalties
between fatherhood and freedom,
he looked in the mirror and repeated
he could live both a full and broken life.
If he couldn’t be every mother’s
standard, certainly he could be some,
say devoted dad one minute, an amalgam
of reliable and impulsive the next.

The issue was addiction
had no season, was as nagging
when she redefined nag as when
something greater than love
rose toward the sun on a park swing.
Just yesterday at the stadium
he’d seen the groundskeeper
roll out new sod for the upcoming season,
and he imagined what they did with
the old grass, chunked in spots
where outfielders dove for balls
they may or may not have caught.

That’s how he walked the empty concourse,
two clenched fists, wishing for a third.
And when he exited the gates,
the fate of the team seemed
beyond sabermetrics, beyond
a strong bullpen and the most professional
of approaches to each at-bat.

Sometimes on late night Twitter,
trolls would point all that out. Sometimes,
they’d just let a fool’s faith ride.
Sometimes there were just enough
characters to declare what he wanted—
a winning team, one he’d take his son
to see, gruff major leaguers packing dips
and sliding headfirst into home.

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