• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 07


Whoever said “Where there’s life, there’s hope”
has never been an orphan girl wandering the countryside,
leading her sightless sister by the hand, seeking
shelter every night, and sustenance every day.
My sister plays her German concertina
with skill enough to soothe the souls of demons.
It is our sole legacy from our parents,
in addition to my golden locks and her auburn aura.

We are not too proud for charity-
My sister’s silent plea pinned to her blouse
ensures a modicum of kindness
from all but the most hard-hearted souls.
She has a sixth sense, an inner vision,
for swindlers and knaves, finely honed by lacking sight,
and she will allow nobody to separate us.
Even in repose and exhaustion, our fingers entwine.

These last few months have been harsh.
Our soles are worn, our souls weary.
The itinerant life is not for us,
but we are abundantly grateful for each other.
As we approach another village
after sheltering in a downpour,
the sun beams down with benign joy
as we rest on a tussock of grass.

I grip her hand in the storm light, and hold
her threadbare, wet cloak away from her shoulder
hoping desperately that our clothes will dry
before night descends with all its perils.



As I describe the pastoral scene before me
amid exhortations of better days to come,
a miracle unfolds behind me-
a double rainbow of utter magnificence.

As I exclaim at its beauty, my sister exhales.
For the first time, I sense her spirits rising.
I whisper in her ear about the butterfly
alit on her, sensing a kindred soul, perhaps.
Our lives have lately been a litany of maybes,
shrouded in unknowns beyond the present.
Now, as sunbeams and raindrops create divine magic,
our dampened dreams flicker into flames of hope.