White-knuckled grip on the wheel
he glances over his shoulder  
guns the gas 
merges into morning rush-hour.

Another first.

Stuck in gridlock 
other conquests playback…
toddling on sweet chubby legs
running to beam a gap-toothed mouth
gliding across the ice after a shutout.

I glance at this man-child 
imagine more adventures…
prom, graduation, college, marriage, fatherhood.

As he eases into the school parking lot,
my stomach lurches.
Will there be more firsts?
Will he even come home today?
Or will he become another statistic
of this sacrificed generation?