Their cottage sat on a grassy bluff

weathered by salt spray, fogs, and rain

blowing off dunes and bleached logpiles

past tidal creeks seeping out to sea.

Cattails bobbed with red-wing blackbirds.

Sparrows clamored through wild-rose thickets.

Two dogs, spattered with sandy muck,

snoozed on the sunny porch steps.

Dinner simmered on the stove.

Pulling weeds in the garden, she smiled,

hearing his tires pop gravel and clamshells

at their rutted lane's long winding end.

The dogs leapt up, loped out to greet him.

This is how it should have been.