A CONCERT, IN MEMORY
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 life,” the pianist, a great niece, says.
She begins with Brahams’ Lullabye.
Follows with Schman’s “Scenes from Childhood,
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,
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:
“The weather held.”
“A perfect day.”
“I only wish…”