MARIGOLD WOMAN: You cannot kill a marigold woman

Those women with spikes in their voices, those bright loud birds with their flickering plumage, those witches with their evanescent haircuts—they have pierced the Marigold Woman’s back with their hatpins often enough, and she knows to avoid them.

Nevertheless, as she walks through the dry and empty country seeking some path that will lead her to the cool of the honeycomb cells where the abbas dwell, she cannot help running across their tracks occasionally. Her face and hands are already bruised and blistered from panting after that wolf, that jackal, that handsome friend with his untruthful eyes.

Is it not enough, she asks, that each time she thinks salvation is at hand the reckoning is postponed a few more years? Is it not enough to marshal her strength to waiting, without these wild animals tear at her steps?

But she knows, as the prophet knows, as the abbas and the vulture know, as Mother Mary knows, as we all know, that the word is to suffer and to pray.