This old man farms seven days a week.

He comes out early in the morning wearing flip flops, shorts, a long sleeved shirt and a baseball cap with a big brim.He has a machete in a sleeve on his belt and when he sees something that needs trimmed he pulls its long blade out.

This old man with a stubble of beard walks his property checking his rows of squash, cucumbers, casava, string beans that he sells in the market. Bamboo posts and fences make shade and structures for climbing plants. A smoldering fire of green leaves makes smoke that keeps mosquitoes down. 

This old man’s most pressing life problem is keeping kids from crossing his land to get to the closest road to town, trampling new sprouts and breaking his bamboo fences.

He looks happy when I wave at him this morning.

He waves back, squats down, and pokes his fire with his machete.

Someday he will not be able to farm, but, for now, he is a content, lean, productive senior.

He holds to his land like a man overboard clings to a life preserver.





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