Menthe — Chapter 11. Horse Barn Maintenance

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Chapter XI
Horse Barn Maintenance


The end of summer brought change. Our climate doesn’t really observe the arbitrary official day, regardless of scientific certainty to back up the transition. The days remain hot and dry—not much change. It’s the need of our cultural world that requires passage.



Lærke and Rikke had finished their au pair term in May. Their replacements were quickly assimilated by the respective host families, a changing of the guard, so to speak. Before the solstice, we lost Rikke. She returned to Denmark’s advantages, to continue her studies. Our vanguard saw her off at the airport. Linda, Lærke, and I watched her plane push off and taxi out. The special memories of her in our lives were fresh on our lips, while the plane progressed forward. The moment came when it turned onto the runway, engines powering up full. Lærke’s head was on my shoulder; we shared an arm around each other’s waist. Linda’s hand held my other. We were silent, staring. The plane accelerated. I held my breath as the wheels lost contact with land and the plane flung itself up with a roar, punching into the sky, climbing higher and higher. The wings dipped with a bank turning side-long, appearing frozen in the sky until the turn was complete. The course headed straight away from us. Bye-bye, Rikke.


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