On the plateau a file of women, all in black,
war widows waiting to be given tea, bread
and rice from two men in a pickup truck.
The men spoke hoarsely, scurrying them on,
found their work shameful, would rather have
been up on the mountain fighting, thought
the women superfluous. They had given birth
to sons who now fought in war and to daughters
married to warriors on the mountain.
The women didn’t look the men in the eyes,
spoke softly and briefly amongst themselves
about the health of their grandchildren. They
had miles to walk back down to meagre soil
and skinny goats.