Inherited from my grandparents, my cottage
Is 100 years old, hand-laid stone basement
Walls, boards placed on cinderblocks to step
From here to there, fuse box replaced with
Electrical panel since I moved in. I was only
Grandchild expressing interest living here,
Just outside Lubec. Creaking floors, working
Sump pump meant little compared to happy
Childhood memories, idyllic summers at my
Renovated cottage along Maine seashores.
Nights often chilly, but not so cold we
Resorted to lighting groaning basement
Heat. My childhood plea for “just a small
Fire,” warmed frosty April nights. “Find tiny
Dry twigs,” Gramps instructed. Engrained
With forest survival skills, I still practiced
As solitary woman. With single wooden
Match, double handful of twigs ablaze,
Kindling added, flickering hearth light
Danced on white-plastered room walls.
On this dark night, rain-snow mix falling,
Nothing outside is dry. I resorted to super-
Market fire starters, three-hour fireplace
Logs. Dripping in the kitchen, either faucet
Or another roof leak, rivulet running down
Inside wall to basement of hidden horrors.
Cotton shawl, cup of tea, English biscuits,
I looked at myself now: weathered face,
Hands, skilled with hammer, saw, serenity
Realized with evening-long small fires.
Thanks for reading.