The Cottage

by

We prepare
and set dates.
In May we’ll gather
in June we’ll open.

We enter our dormant house
and breathe life into it.
Together,
my sisters and I,
plant and clean,
clear the cobwebs.
And with trembling hands,
we throw away
the dead mice.

July and August pass
as quick as a cricket.
The house buzzes in
fits and starts.

The long table,
set in the yard
with rocks and twigs
and food from the market,
lines us up
and sits us down.

We eat to our fill
and soon we are on our
wobbly legs
offering toasts
to the life
at the cottage
together.

The golfers recklessly hit balls
over the cliff.
Guitars come out and
voices stretch
into the night.
A little one is serenaded
on the screen porch.

We wind down
in September
with friends.
An old school bell
rings in the guests.
A view of the Big Lake
pulls them
through the house
out into the yard.
The fire on the hearth
brings them back in.

In October we gather
on weekends.
We close up,
following age old lists,
and the house
shuts down
for the winter.

My sisters,
our spouses,
our parents now deceased.
Our children,
their children
and those to come.
Together for sweet days
and nights
at the cottage.

Four generations
in this cottage
up the hill
in the woods
overlooking
the Big Lake.

Photo credit: Mara Snipes