I am constantly shooing the kids out the door. I leave it wide open so I can see the yellow fields, the ancient stone fences and the old apple orchard beyond with gnarled branches beckoning like hands to the cloudless blue sky. Boys, out, now! I say for the twentieth time that day and they swoosh by my long skirt each with an apple in hand running out the door in their worn-out jeans and lace up boots, their open jackets flapping in the wind over tea-stained undershirts, just like their dad. He, who even now, is waiting by the open gate to let them in to see the horses and offer them tribute. My short, unruly hair bouncing as I reclaim the house and go about cleaning up from the last meal to make the next.
Looking out the kitchen window a few minutes later I see he’s lifted them, the twins, to the back of old Nelly and now he’s leading them around the arena. Ethan. The love of my life. Hard muscular body, sweat even now making his face shine and his shirt cling to him. It’s only ten in the morning but already the sun is high and he’s been working for hours. Tobin on the back of the horse clings to Henry’s shirt. His older brother, by two minutes. But he follows him around as if years separate them. Tobin’s wee round face shining with excitement. His big blue eyes sparkling. She can hear his giggle as Ethan begins to jog and the horse moves faster under them. Tobin hangs on even tighter and Henry grasps the mane of the old horse grinning like he’s on a fairground ride. And that is how she will always remember them. For in the next instant, they are gone.