“holding an infant for the first time in my adult life”

my buddy’s daughter is like 5 months
a little bald smiler
blue eyes, blonde fuzz

her mom hands her to me
after we take a shot of this
knob creek whiskey that i
brought them as a housewarmer

“pass the baby,” she says.

i hold the infant under the armpits
while she kicks and squirms
for a minute
or so,
convinced the second i adjust
she’ll go toppling to the floor

“she’s not gonna break,” says
my friend’s wife. “unless you
drop her on her head.”

she’s right,
and when i finally get her
into the standard infant hold
pose with the hand under
the plump diaper butt,
she gums my shoulder with
drool and cranes her neck
to observe the new world
around her

my biological clock
taps
the inside of my skull,
saying
“you know, i’m still a thing.”

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