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August 24 , 2007

The Silent Couple


Every day, weather permitting, I walk with my husband amongst the linden trees surrounding the town square. We are both rheumatic, so he leans on his cane while I, by force of habit, clasp his arm, though my hand trembles as I touch him.

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Today, though autumn sun shines on the church and offices, the school and Town Hall of the square, my husband, Mr. Mezange, wears a wool overcoat, and I have on my hat with the white ribbon. We have always lived here; we have always walked here. On rare occasions, we visit the seashore and the South, but we always return and on sunny days, we always walk. My husband expects it, and I am a dutiful wife. I do not speak to him anymore, nor he to me, but still I tread in his path, still I am darkened by his shadow.

We sit down now, as we often do, upon a bench on the sunlit side of the square, an old crippled couple who watch the passersby, people and pets, but we never break the silence that separates us.

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