My son returned to his university early this morning.

Awake most of the night, I had no problem getting up;

I wanted to make him a good breakfast, something to hold him,

But he said cereal was all he wanted, maybe some juice.

He was planning to eat later, on the road, with Curt;

Hed be picking Curt up on the way. Curt? I asked.

Were in a lot of the same classes, he said.

So I offered to help pack his car, and got up from the table,

Stacks of pancakes still steaming, ham and eggs sitting there.

But he said never mind, its all done, Im not taking much;

Curts already got all the stuff well need in the apartment.

I thought you were living in the dorm, I said, puzzled,

Wondering when Id missed hearing about that change in plans.

Oh no, he said, its all arranged. I moved my things before Christmas.

So Curt isnt just riding back with you; youre good friends?

Not just friends, Dad, he said. Were together now. Hes my boyfriend.

Oh, I said.

By then he had his parka on, knitted cap, gloves;

I could barely see his face as he walked away.

He was halfway to the car before I could speak:

Goodbye, son, I said, and he turned. I love you, boy.

Thank God he heard me.

When he ran back into my arms I could see his eyes were just as wet as mine.