My daughter is not impressed by you, Jack Daugherty.
She creases the cardboard in her clumsy hands
While you gaze upward at a future, long since past.
To her, we are all undrafted free agents.
She doesn’t understand how it feels to have a baseball card.
She doesn’t understand how it feels to be young.
A million photographs of you languish in plastic tubs,
In garages and attics, wedged between Weedles and basic lands
Protesting to an uncaring, amnesiac world
That you made it, when so many failed, when so many
Assumed you’d fail. You drew 10 walks in 1989.
You, a propaganda poster for the Protestant ethic, a piece of history.
But history is a tyranny of the old upon the young
Of implicit values, adages and limitations,
The insipid morality of sugarless breakfast cereals
Strained carrots, quiet lies, living for tomorrow.
There is no American Dream for the children
Who cry through their naptimes.
My daughter rejects your truths, Jack Daugherty.
She cannot read your name and would not care to.
The accomplishments summed on the back of the card
Are not even numbers, betray no intelligence
A feral, flimsy, and fleeting cuneiform
Good only for being eaten.
As my daughter gnaws apart your effigy,
Destroys one small fraction
Of your existence in this world
She coos to herself, softly.
Patrick Dubuque is a wastrel and a general layabout. Many of the sites he has written for are now dead. Follow him on Twitter @euqubud.