for my son, Nathan LanTian Cole-Dai

Before you were born
I dreamed of you,
old man in a baby’s body,
speaking in a sage’s voice,
telling me secrets of the universe.

These days I dream dreams
of another you, a child
of five or six, always beyond
my field of vision,
the sound of my voice,
the reach of my hands.

Both dreams are true—
both man and boy
are at home in you.
In my heart, too.
The man, getting comfortable,
the boy, running in and out,
each playing his part.

Let them be as they are.
You’re growing into the son
I’ve loved from the start.

Play notes: I wrote this for my son's eighteenth birthday, September 4, 2020.