Women Waiting for the Fishermen on Nazaré Beach, Portugal, 1955

The week has ended and we wait

dressed in black

white eyes straining

eager for an imperfection on the horizon


we are not sisters in blood but sisters in waiting

sisters that wait on lemon sand

under an innocent blue sky

sisters that are grey and silent, grey and silent


some pace the beach leaving solitary sets of footprints behind

patterns, broken spirals

serrated waves in the sand waiting themselves

to be smoothed by the greedy ocean


some stand still, unblinking, rosary beads clenched

in lonely, aging hands

some of us have children waiting at home

waiting to be fed


two of us sisters stayed at home today

they still wear black

I see them at the market

they always look away



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