The old woman who ate cabbage everyday
with roasted bread crumbs,
a matron in the backyard
—most finicky and industrious—
The one next-door lost her daughter,
who drowned in the Sava.
At night another neighbor chats to her man
who is no more,
by day she knits
mittens for winter.
Her son brings out a chair for the weak
almost blind one to sit in the sun,
while two others in the wash house
are splashing the whites in wooden pails.
One is nicknamed Sprightly:
from constant smiling—untold smiles
and cares—at times
the bones in her jaw strain
with a crack.
Translated from the Slovene by Miriam Drev