On Father’s Day: I Remember

I REMEMBER (or early one father’s day)
Dan Wilt

I remember the days before I was a father.

So content to see myself, my wife, as the center of a universe,

As the center of a story.

Then one, then two, then three; the story changed.


I held each aloft to heaven, and wondered how so much glory

Could be placed into my hands.

I fed them, I clothed them, I played every game.

I laughed with them, sang with them, wrestled the same.

Cheered and geared them, feared them and seared them,

Hoped for them, prayed for them, chose for them, bled for them,

Lived for them, died for them, counted them worth it.


One year passed. Then two. Then ten, then more.

Like trees in a field, they grew over time, each to its stature

Heading upward without compromise.

In moments now, when their leaves fall at my feet

In our circle of Trees, rooted in our ancestors’ forest,


I remember.

I remember why a man has children.


Because of one I dance among stars to the most mystic of music, wandering, wondering what sacred fires lie behind their glistening.

Because of one I dance in wind-whipped deserts to the pounding of beats and the power of thick voices, twisting, turning I tremble and absorb their strength.

Because of one I dance in parking lots, playgrounds, skateparks and ball courts, whistling my songs of youth as a younger voice now joins in chorus.

Because we must dance, a man has children.

Because they must dance, we join them on their turf.


A father, he visits their souls with each glance and each kiss,

Each embrace yields another moment to travel again,

To three different worlds, each flickering under the same ancestral sun.

Their blood is ours, their eyes are ours, their brain and wires are ours,

Yet though their terrain we crafted,

Their dirt and rock and clay and water are God’s,

Their clouds, and stars, and weather, and mountains and oceans and deserts,

Belong to God.


And I dance in their worlds, this trio of planets, each

Created for them, for us, for others, for God.


I remember the days before I was a father.

So content to see myself, my wife, as the center of a universe,

As the center of a story.

Then one, then two, then three; the story changed.

(c) 2009 Dan Wilt