Twigs and stems

If a choreographer had been underneath the plastic sheet on a rainy day or night, he would certainly have reproduced the scene: twenty-five people, short and tall, on their feet, each holding a tin can to collect the water that dripped off the roof, sometimes in torrents, sometimes drop by drop. If a musician had been there, he would have heard the orchestration of all that water striking the sides of the tins. If a filmmaker had been there, he would have captured the beauty of the silent and spontaneous complicity between wretched people. But there was only us, standing on a floor that was slowly sinking into the clay.

Kim Thúy, Ru, translated from French by Sheila Fischman.