Thursday, January 27, 2011

All wounds

My dearest Clara,

I have begun this letter at least a dozen times and each previous version has landed in the fire.  I yearn for your company, for the feel of your small, cool hand in my own, but I finally understand that this longing shall nevermore be satisfied.  Lovely Clara, I wish I could say that I have reconciled msyelf to this loss, but truly I remain bereft and lost.

You said that you were through with me, and of my sort, but I cannot bring myself to believe this.  I cannot, Clara!  Throughout the years we have been together I never sensed your restlessness, your discontent with our life together!  How, how could I have missed the signals?  My own eyes, ears and mind have fully betrayed me, and yet they remain as my constant traitorous companions, while you alone have gone.

Is it only the silence and desolation you crave?   I would rip out my own tongue to see you again in the dooryard, and my poor heart is more desolate than the plains that call to you.  Cattle, my dear - I shall cover our hillside with the creatures you adore.

Say I have not irretrievably lost you.  Describe for me your most outlandish wishes and I will build your dream.

Your miserable, loving M.

Dearest Clara,

Although I dare not hope for an Express junction in the Territories, I did foolishly wish for your response this past fortnight.  I am rather morose and lonely, but have begun cooking and cleaning again in the vain desire to see you riding up, dry and exhausted from the trail, wishing for a good meal and clean bed.  I know I am foolish.

Your sister, Chloe, kindly brought me a supper plate Sunday.  Naturally your mother came along, as well, as Chloe's reputation could only suffer from an unchaperoned visit.  I was touched, as I had always sensed Chloe's (and certainly your mother's) disapproval of me.  The wrong sort, I once heard her say quietly. 

I miss you dreadfully and I beg you to write, if only so I might hold the paper you have held, and imagine our hands touching without the intermediates of paper and distance.

I remain your loving M.

Dear Clara,

I imagined your ranch to be remote and wild, far from civilization.  Why else would you decline to answer my letters?  Any other reason would be cruel.  And yet, I was stunned to hear Chloe say, over the picnic lunch she brought, that the Lazy Bar J is barely five miles from the town where you go every two weeks to spend your pay.

Surely, Clara, you are not so hard-hearted that you would deny me the comfort of your correspondence!  Say I am mistaken!



Your siser, Chloe, surprised me greatly by agreeing to move into the storage room in my cottage.  She has been a great comfort to me in my sorrows, and I cannot deny she is a wonderful cook.  Buffalo has never been so delectable!

I hope that you are not upset by this, as I'm sure you would not wish a barren, still house for either of us.  This is, of course, an arrangement of convenience.   I do need help keeping the cottage, and I never was as good as you at maintaining your lovely garden.

Don't worry, my dear.  It appears that Chloe is also "the wrong sort," to my delight.  Your mother is not so delighted, and perhaps would appreciate a letter from you.

Best regards,


I hope you don't mind, dear, but we've had your dresses remade to fit Chloe.  She is quite a bit smaller than you, so the waists had to be greatly altered.  I assured her that you are happy to be rid of them, as they do not fit your life of hard work and solitude.

Please take this little ring you left behind as a token of my affection.  Even our talented goldsmith would not be able to reduce it to Chloe's size, and really she deserves to have some things that aren't second-hand.

Be happy for us.

Your pal,

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