Strength of a Woman

It's late in the night. The darkness is so thick you could touch it  with your hands. The city, normally packed with people on the streets, cars speeding to who knows where and public service vehicles occasionally trying to break the traffic rules is now silent. So silent you could hear a little pin drop. In the midst of all these, there is a woman. What could her name be? She's covered up in a big jacket, a white mask on her face and oversize gumboots. I can hardly see her face. Who is she? The streets are getting cleaner by the second. Isn't she tired? I wonder. What about her children? Don't they feel her absence at this time? What about her suckling angel? Who comforts the poor thing when it has a nightmare? What if her little baby suddenly gets hungry in the night? Perhaps she has an older child who has been forced to act like a parent to her siblings at this ungodly hour. Swish,swish...won't she stop? The broom she is using is having a tough time clearing the polythene bags and dry leaves. What if a thug comes from nowhere and takes advantage of her? What if she is robbed or raped? Her heart throbs thunderously against her chest. For a moment, she pauses and sighs, probably missing her family or sinking in the fact that she is tired from the inside out. Who knows what work she has been doing all day. Swish, swish...she must finish her work lest she gets fired the next day. By the time she is heading home, it will be way past midnight and most likely when she gets to the house, she will just collapse on her bed. A few hours of sleep before the beginning of another day. All these for her children because they are her greatest treasure. At least, by the end of the day, she will put food on the table and her family won't have to sleep in the cold. Her daughter will not have to go through a period of shame every month of her young life being taunted by her friends because she cannot afford sanitary towels. By the end of the day, she will be able to eat enough so that she can produce enough milk for her little one. It doesn't matter what she goes through, she can handle the storm, she can bear the cold because she knows what she holds dear in her heart. She is undeniably great, loving and hardworking. It's the strength of a woman! 

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