Beauchamp, Plain and Tall: 2



Claire came in the spring. I wore my church dress and Willie his good shirt. Da shaved, combed his hair, and put on his Sunday best as well before leaving us to get Claire. His new wife. Maybe. Maybe our new mother.

Before she came Willie and I did our chores in silence. We mucked stalls and put out new hay. We checked on the sheep. We fetched water and brought wood in from the big pile along the side of the house. And when our chores were finished Willie began to pester me with questions.

“Will Claire be kind, like Jenny is?” he asked me.

“Of course she will be kind. She’s choosing to come here to get to know us,” I answered. But would the choice to come be enough to make the choice to stay I wondered.

“Can she bring her sea with her so she won’t miss it?” He continued.

“You can’t bring the sea, Willie,” I told him. “We have our own things here though.” We had our land and the mounds of grass that spread across them in endless waves. We had our animals, our neighbors, and our house. But would Claire stay?

I thought she wouldn’t. And the thought made me want her not to come at all.

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