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Staying home was easy
after the pulling guard
faked me wide
twice before half,
and the tailback cut back
and cleated the grass
I bulldozed with my nose.

I never forgot to hold my breath,
not even the first time
my father tossed me
off the deep end, Sink
or swim, he barked, and I sank
into his will and stayed at home,
a loyal son to my father,

who proved last month
history doesn’t always repeat-
dying, he stiff-armed the tackler
and dashed around end
out of bounds,
up through the stands
and over the distant hills.