The Deserted House and the Woman

There is a house that has been deserted for most of the summer. The path to the school, to the road, to other paths, cuts through its yard. One day an old woman, wearing a deel and bent over, was pulling the tall weeds and grass from the ground next to the house. The leaning outhouse leaned a little less. A mound of dirt with a bouquet of fake flowers appeared in front of the house. Soon children’s clothes were drying on a line. The old woman continued to wear her deel, bent over, pulling grass. Neighbors and passers-through still used the path to get to other paths. Not once did she look up. One afternoon cows were grazing in her yard, the yard through which the path cut. She was herding them out, and for the first time she wasn’t bent over pulling grass. Yet she was still bent over, her back permanently prepared for earthly chores. And this woman– the woman who never glanced at passing strangers, who wore her deel in the heat of the day– looked up. Her face, which scowled at the cows, smiled at the words, ‘Cain baina yy ta?’ Her face, etched with millions of tiny synchronized lines and wrinkles, sparkled in the sun with her tiny eyes and toothless smile. They radiated a profound understanding of her place, a lack of existential doubt and questioning. Her life has purpose. And that house, the house that was once deserted, now has life.

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2 thoughts on “The Deserted House and the Woman

  1. I can just imagine the beautiful pictures for a children’s story book. I want to know more about the old woman. Beautifully written, Alyse!

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