The weekly writing challenge this week is about characters. I don’t normally follow these but this week I thought I’d give it a go, in poetic form of course.
Her young eyes search among the rubbish
abandoned by us. She sifts the skip for things
given value by her pleasure in finding something.
She stands out amongst her group for being light in a dark place,
their suntanned faces are as methodical in searching the tip,
looking for fine detail in resale. She is a scavenger,
a child of the north wind and the blue sky above.
She gives her beauty to the world, a smile
that will follow the storm clouds
rising in the afternoon heat.
The young girl in question was part of a family of Romany Gypsies hunting through the big skips in our rubbish tip in France. The things they took back out were in general scrap items they could sell as recycling. But the girl was searching through clothes, shoes and toys, delighting in what she found. A contrast to the serious business of the rest of the family. She had unusually pale skin and such poise as she hopped around in the waste. What stood out was her smile, and obvious happiness with her new treasures. The summer heat gives way to late afternoon thunderstorms and the breaking weather clears the tip of everyone, they ran laughing to the van, and headed away with what they found. I saw them this once, and never again.