“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…