Morning walk past forsythia verging river and cove, like yellow crime scene tape—
sense of mismatch roused, I attempt to find the engine room: clicker points,

doubled-down directions. Last night I dreamed
I was walking underwater, and the world

had crawled out onto the roof, was staring down, imagining jump—
or maybe it was driving across a bridge, mulling plummet.

Serenity only floats on empathy, kindliness:
smoothe the blanket, fluff the pillow. What I'm saying:

tomorrow my oldest, continuously-operating best friend will walk the cove with me.
Sixty years ago we met in the jungle of junior high,

and tomorrow we'll rehash boys we feared to flirt with, the math teacher who screamed
because we laughed during fire drill, the cheerleaders we scorned and envied—

but mostly we'll rehash children and forebodings: our touchstone will be
the river shad circling and scouting the cove—

they are a schooling fish, they live in cold, uncertain bays but in summer
they race together upriver, lay their eggs in sheltering shallows,

with one accord bequeath to their children safe waters.