A full transposition of faces
First his, then hers
Not just Mommy’s eyes and Daddy’s nose
One whole being, then another
All on one sweet, small face
God not quite dimmed in his eyes from our last  meeting
A slight melancholy slipping away
Life pulls us to need and away from surrender
“Growing up” is what some would say

At the beach the world is farther than the curve ‘round the cliff
But not for him, so low to the ground
I join him to adjust my perspective
The horizon grows and so do the waves
Salty feet stir the sand fleas out of the bed of kelp
Much like the tern, he flees the tide
Smart to know the power of the water
Young enough not to know that when he grows
Thoughts of being a master of destiny will wander in
And stay too long

And then I am watching myself years before
Before available memory
Feeling every triumph, shared moment, disappointment
Along with this little stranger
Who shares genes and blow away hair with me
I ask his father how he handles seeing his past every day
In the eyes of a 16 month old boy
That it has shaken me deep within
In return, I get a sigh, an acknowledgment
I get a small glimpse of fatherhood

Why those parents try to steer their past
Through the future of the innocent
Such a temptation, a natural thing
To correct the wrong turns as they come
The art of watching and letting go becomes even more Zen
In my little outsider’s mind
Pro uncle steps back, a luxury I can still afford
As the brine of emotion crosses my dry mouth
The stairs await us, steep and long
And I am too large to be carried by anything
Besides the smile of a child.