The Sa Pa terraces were engraved on her heart like the indelible wrinkles on an old person’s forehead. The harvest season had passed. The stream of people from all over the world that flocked here for sightseeing, recording and photographing had stopped. A clucking mother hen started to take her hungry flock far afield to search for food. A roaming pig in heat uttered a mating cry, even though it bled its nose when it stumbled upon the roots of an indigo tree and some sharp rocks. Gone was the golden season. The season of ripened rice fields undulating like waves in poetry and the complacent eyes of a 30-year-old. On the eve of a new year, the teacher contemplated with a sobbing heart the thirsty rice stubbles craving water, the indifferent winds zipping by, the dying sunlight, the forlorn terraces, and those impotent wrinkles on the gods’ foreheads. Every year there was only one rice crop, so rice was as precious as gold. It wasn’t a laughing matter to see a Mong woman meticulously pick up the grains sticking between the fingers of her child who was playing nearby to put into the pot so as not to waste… Read full this story
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