They have gathered here,

To listen and recall,

A quartet of remaining friends,

In her cove-side cottage,

Once a summer home,

Then her last,

The sea, through its windows,

A triptych.

“A life,” the pianist, a great niece, says.

She begins with Brahams’ Lullabye.

Follows with Schman’s “Scenes from Childhood,

An Impromptu.

A pause for shared recollections;

Island children, summer children,

She still in their midst

All leaping like goats

Across the rocks, those rocks

Just below the deck.

The pianist takes up the story

With a Chopin Waltz,

An Intermezzo. Chopin again,

A Nocturne.

Last, Franz Liszt’s Consolation.

They brush gently against each other,

Hands, shoulders touching,

Each aware their number might be smaller

When they meet again.

The ferry will carry them

To the mainland, then home,

A safe passage.

They stand watch looking islandward

Until its outline disappears.

Dockside, grown grandchildren wait them

as their voices blend in counterpoint

Holding off departure:

“So glad,,,”

“The weather held.”

“A perfect day.”

“I only wish…”

“I know.”

Marjorie Mir