Her complexion is the colour of coffee grounds. No makeup except for a subtle pink on the lips, collecting in the creases. Hair wrapped inside a bandanna with a pattern of purple and green leaves.
She is still when she speaks. Her unadorned hands, with long tapering fingers, lie calmly in her lap. Her round, strong shoulders do not move. Only her full lips, beneath broad cheeks, shape the syllables. Her sentences come short and sharp. Concise. Full of meaning. Without wasted words. She stares at you over her sentences, waiting for a reply.
When she stands up, she catches you off guard. You expect her to be taller than you, but she only comes up to your shoulder. Beneath her colourful skirts, her legs are bowed–a permanent reminder of an undernourished childhood. She walks with a fierce rhythm, navigating the stairs one at a time, steadfast and swaying. She does not hold the handrail.