While They Weep


The sky is weeping. It has been like this for three days, raining as though it would like to flood us from our homes, wash the trees from the ridge lines. Abba says it is because Amma is sick. He says the skies are weeping for her, because she will leave us soon. I think he has already buried her in his mind. I can see him grieving.

But I am not ready to let her go so easily. My brothers and I are going to take her to the missionary village down at the end of the valley, whether Abba will let us or not. The forest is drenched, the paths slick with mud, and the rains will not let up, but we are going anyway.

I will not let her die without a fight.

We tuck her frail little body into her hammock and cover her with palm leaves to keep the rain out. She does not weigh much, not anymore, so it will not be very hard for my brothers and I to carry her, even so far and even in the rain. Abba comes to say goodbye to us when we leave. He kisses her goodbye, but I can see in his eyes that he does not think he will see her again, or us either. Not many people can travel the trails in such a storm, fighting the mud and the rain, and keep away from the spirits that haunt our trees at the same time. But we will do it. For Amma’s sake, we’ll risk what ruin may come.

I will not let her die like this.

We start down the trail at once, and I lose sight of him immediately. The thick forest, the jungle, the undergrowth and the trees, they get in my way. I don’t know if I will see him again either. Secretly, I am afraid of the spirits, although I won’t say so.

The sky weeps as I whisper my farewell.

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