The dark-skinned woman stands proud at the edge of the dusty rutted wagon path which cuts through the trampled rice field that subsidizes the world of the rich landowner and takes the lives of the hungry poor who become bent and aged from toiling in the flooded fields under the searing sun and away from the protective netting which deters the buzzing mosquitoes. When she poses for the American photographer she wears a western T shirt atop a native hand-blocked sarong with thumbprint-sized designs in traditional black white and red colors which represent evil and ancestral protection and the horrors and triumphs of war. The elegant lady from New York lays her camera on the ground and points to the fabric wrapped around the body of the tall woman then she points to money in her hand but the woman pretends she does not understand and stares blankly at the photographer’s hips which are smaller than those of the native woman and the Mozambican seems to judge them inadequate for a lover of man or bearer of children. Her sarong is old and speaks to the history of her family past and present as her mother and her mother’s mother wore it in the fields and in the hut and used it to swaddle their newborn offspring. She will keep it.
(Written for dVerse Poetics, Open Link Night, Week 131. February 4, 2014.)