Bob Ward
Berber Woman

                           Tunisia, 2014

Rising from her doorstep
   where she’s been plaiting
   roughly scavenged grass,
   she coaxes us inside.

Her home seems all stairs
   and curtained cubby-holes
   for nomads come to ground
   in a hill-top refuge.

Under shade on a flat roof
   she offers us fresh bread
   to dip in a pool of honey
   suffused with thyme.

The yoke of her straight shift
   boasts devoted needlework
   and her ever-eager smile
   radiates golden teeth.

While her husband’s rhetoric
   makes out she’s the boss,
   she signals us a giggly
   denial behind his back.