They arrive at her door Friday evenings
the quartet of women, play Beethoven or Bach
the first violin as if her hair's on fire
as if she's naked
purple strapless gown draping tiny folds
over a tight elastic slip.
Sometimes her feet in flat black mules,
subtly sparkly, tap a beat.
Playing, they exchange quick glances -
a nod, a smile, never stay later than eleven.
a kiss on her cheek and they're gone
the air in her wide white room
left smelling of sea-water
as if the tide had washed through
as if for ninety minutes she had swum
across the estuary of a broad dark river
in wren-light shoes, flat and black, speckly as starling