Nada más

Beer crate seat on terraced terrain, she sits in the valley of production. Carried by her Spanish friend to a place few like her could go. ‘Hombre’ Hombre, Hombre’ echoes surround her, above, below, to the side the campesinos greet and rally against the dust, the heat, the exhaustion. Avocados at her knees, she picks the crop. Her Spanish friend picks oranges, lemons, custard apples, salad onions around her. They chatter in both tongues laughing. An unforgiving sun ripens her skin, He massages her back thoroughly, her pale and lobstered skin covered in relief, he nuzzles her neck, on the campo stage. Avocados broken open by hungry hands they eat and taste uncomplicated goodness, sharing and feeding each other; basking in the wholeness of their lives. Produce ready for co-operative weighing Her Spanish friend carries her to the lorry, wheelchair slumped in the back, with fruit, vegetables and olive tree netting. Rich local wine seeps into their veins, pan, queso, ensalada on their plates as the onerous evening sun persists. ‘Más?’ he asks, ‘Nada más, gracias’ she smiles.

Ali Hayward