There is a small wooden house In a hot dusty yard With a straggle of plants And one shady tree, Roots running close to the surface So the earth strains To close protectively over them. She keeps that house clean And that yard tidy And struggles to grow Her little provisions In the dry earth That drifts in a fine dust Across her worn-bare wooden floors; Rises early to make Her long trek down To the water pipe So she can come up hill Before the sun’s fire Grows too hot. At end of day The slant of evening’s light Makes motes in the dust Floating lightly above the floor, And she picks up the old guitar That hides behind the door, Sits by her doorway And bends her head So she can hear the touch Of her hard working fingers On the strings Against the frets As she tunes. Then music lifts her, Voice and notes and soul, Above the hard darkness Of life on the edge Of outside.
Written by Margaret Mair Painting, original art by Margaret Mair