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Washerwoman By Kristine Giardin Sometimes she wished that he had been there that night. It was a


strange thought, not logical or even possible. But, if there was a way to take Bobby back to that night, then maybe he would have understood. How lines blur and moments twist and shudder. Maybe then, he could have forgiven his brother for trespassing. For taking what was not his.


How could she ever explain to him that as years passed, she began to understand Eddie? She had let Bobby do her hating. She had peeled off the guilt like a sweater; it was easier that way.


Their farm had been a short distance from her simple one level home. It was a familiar walk, full of green trees and blue sky. It was hilly there, and the open meadows seemed to draw pockets of air, so that leaves would spiral in drifts, and her hair would lift off her face. The wide pastures and wooden barns were soothing to Brenda, who sometimes felt suffocated by the sharp presence of her mother.


Bobby‘s father, like the four generations before him, owned and worked Bunnell Farm. Over a hundred acres of forest and field, large red barns with crumbling stone foundations and hand hewn beams that spanned stall after stall. They also had a tiny white farmhouse that always needed painting.


Bobby had a gentle nature about him that seemed at odds with the life cycle of a farm. The first time his father made him slaughter a chicken, he threw up. His father made him kill four more, and eventually he would just dry heave.


Eddie, at age eleven, had killed his first deer and helped his father skin it. He found satisfaction in the smell of blood, in the veins of blue and twisted pink innards he‘d cut open and studied. When he was older, his guns got bigger, and his father was proud of the one hundred and forty pound stag he‘d landed, one of the many heads that lined the den wall.


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