Her friend's long skirt makes plumes across the sand;
She lies here listening to the whispering sea
That sends its ancient answers far inland,
And tries to pull their meanings into her.

Elizabeth is bending near the shore;
She hums an aria from La Boheme
And is content to quietly explore,
Becomes all air and sunlight, hair to hem.

They've known each other long, full forty years;
They share the bonds of widowhood, the ache
Of bone-deep loss, of lonely nights and tears,
And rare compassion for each other's sake.

Where lives a friend like she whose laughter bells,
Who gives to her such pretty little shells?