Father

By Don Munro

“Jesus Christ,” he said,

under his breath

but loud enough for me to hear.

I throw the ball back,

even more oddly.

It swirls far from him,

so that he has to run way left to catch it.

Damn.

No amount of encouragement

can make me feel good about myself,

can make me throw

and catch

and run

and hit

like the other kids.

But this rejection,

using my Lord’s name,

the one we beg

to help us

be kind to others,

is too much.

I put the ball down,

and I won’t pick it up

again.

Ever.

Instead, I pick up

the pen.