Not optimism: self-preservation.

The old woman sits shirtless. She is cross-legged on her bed, staring at a candle-stick. She saw it through conception but it will outlive her.

There is a lamp on, defying the day. Its beams are not warm on her skin. They feel like the gaze of a disappointed lover.

She brings her eyes to her lap, looks at her hands. They are soft beyond the shapes they've made. She thinks they are the same as an infant, wrinkled and barely alive.

Faretheewell folk,
-Talthea (4/18/07)

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