• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 07

The women smile

they smile as they speak together in voices warm
as saffron, bright as the dye that colours Amina’s shawl
they speak in voices soft as the thread in Nour’s silk veil

and they smile as they discuss this stranger who has stopped them
and requested a few moments of their time
to sketch them for posterity.

Nour folds arms tight across her chest
lowers her veil, raises her chin. Amina just smiles:
he cannot know what he is asking

and years from now, will someone look upon his sketch
and wonder who they are, where they are heading
and why they smile?

will they guess what she conceals beneath her cloak?
Amina feels the bird twitch and flutter under her long fingers
It is time she says. She smiles.