For Norman

You visit me in a dream after passing,
            after I’ve been awaiting you for weeks,
because Chinese belief teaches us our
            loved ones will appear when we’re asleep.
It’s real when I enter the hotel restaurant
            in the middle of nowhere town I live in,
as the Midwest architecture transforms
            into Kowloon at evening time. We eat
bird’s nest soup, and I remember the time
            my father ordered me this four-hundred-
year-old delicacy at Hong Kong airport.
            Out comes the Peking duck, and I ask you:
“Why did it take you so long?” You answer:
            “I arrived once you were strong and ready.” 

Copyright © 2024 by Dorothy Chan. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 26, 2024, by the Academy of American Poets.