Rosary of A Rural Lady

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Photo: A Timorese local woman

You live in a peaceful village

You grow along with the nature of the green mountains

Learn to follow the rules and the wisdom of the ancestors.


In the morning, the cockcrow of the roosters wake you up

Yet the sunshine has not risen yet.

You go to the kitchen, lighting up the hearth and it smokes out

Later, a hot pitcher of an aromatic coffee is ready to serve

With some freshly boiled cassava roots

It’s morning already’ you said to everyone…


You live in a hut made of palm leaves and trunk.

For your children, it is the most beautiful palace ever.

Because you are always there for them, every day and night

To shelter your children with love.


To the spring fountain, you go there to take the water.

Even it is quite far to walk.

Filling the whole water pot, you carry it on your head.

To the farm and rice field, you go

To secure the food for your household

With palm leaves, you weave the winnower, mat, and basket

To contain the goods that belong to your house.


You live with all your strength to serve

Sometimes you become weak and powerless

Yet still, you rise soon afterward.


‘The night is coming…’

You summon everyone to gather

In a table with an ample of food

You fulfill their hunger, thirst, and fatigue.

Then, still there you sit

Listening and seeing them talk

Measuring their mind and soul,

Feeling their burden and relieve.


Today has passed away

Yet still, you believe that tomorrow is coming

Despite you do know not what it will bring.

You do ask not a lot of things

You do aspire not a high dream.

As to you, it is enough

If the future of your children could be bright

Though someday, you might not be there at all….

Dedicated to Timor-Leste rural mothers…
Vitalia Ze, Dili, October 15,  2014