Ana lives with her Uncle and Aunty.
Uncle has fat frog eyes and
unwashed, uncombed hair. He eats
nothing but soup because of his
Aunty never says a thing. She stands
on a lean as if one shoulder carries
an enormous weight. Her other
shoulder constantly trembles. She
resembles a moth with a wing
Every morning Uncle slurps his soup,
complaining, "Too much salt! Too
When Aunty goes to market, Uncle
drops the spoon in his bowl. He
stands close to Ana. He smells of
armpits and garlic.
Ana ducks away.
Grabbing her shoulder bag
she runs out of the house
to the track at the end of
the village that twists up
into a steep treeless
In spring orange strawﬂowers
burst through cracks in the
rock, but now they are
shrivelled stalks crunched
into dust beneath her feet.
The sun rises as she climbs
higher. Her shadow falls in
front of her, growing longer.
She stops at the dry plots of land she
tills for Uncle, opens her bag and
pulls out a chunk of bread wrapped
in a soft cotton square. Chewing very
slowly, she gazes down at the village.
When she has
swallowed the last
crumb of bread, she
takes an onion out of her
bag and lays it on a
rock. She lifts her skirt
and pisses on it. Later,
she'll take it home,
chopping it into Uncle's
soup, wiping away her
smile when he exclaims,
"Too much salt!"