The morning after burying an old friend,
a day of fellowship and ghosts,
just before I met the daylight
I was flat on the ground
reaching down a ledge
into the river for a
I think.

I’d been at water’s edge through the night
festive moments
streams of people.
Somehow I lost a shoe.

Extended there,
a shoulder tap.
I craned my neck
turned my head
found my grandparents.
Hazel and E.C.
Charles and Lilla.

They said “We love you.”
They said it twice

I stumbled my way from sleep to
morning sun.
Outlines of trees outside the window filling in with
trunks and branches and leaves.
I woke the child,
gave the dogs water,
packed my lunch,
drove to school,
drove to work.

They did not tell me to do these things.

They did not have to.