Her Seeming Agitation

Vanessa Raney

Woman with a hoe across her
chest (the part that dips, in
conversation with her
back) stops me, the
position of her
body leaning toward me though
her face is absent an expression, her
upper body reaching closer to my
tank top, asking me if I was cold, her
hand shifting on the longer part of
the tool she uses against her garden, her
demeanor hostile though she doesn't
mean it, history on the lines across her
skin, no makeup on and eyes that
haven't known so many strangers, her
austerity showing in the dust (of the
mountain I matched the rise on), her
family somewhere there, away from
modern need and recompense, her
seeming agitation a mask for the
concern she’s showing me, her
attention on a
foreigner unfamiliar with her
customs, that a woman covers when
it's winter (or was it spring?), like her.

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