Homeless. Not war or violence but drought, dying poppies,

dust. Always the choking dust. Her husband gone and


children starving in the shamal winds of a tent city, she’s

sold her red-haired Akila, only 6, for 200,000 afghanis


to a man named Najmuddin. As a bride, so he said, for

his 10 year old son. My Akila, says the woman who has


other mouths to feed, does not know I have sold her. In tears

she will go. But she’s a child, and I have no other choice.


Najmuddin, who’s paid only 5,000 thus far, says, Ah. . .

this was an act of charity. Says, Listen. . .these things do


happen. Even an old man marries a young girl, it happens.

And the woman, what does she say then?


She says, Who would ever ever sell a piece of her heart if she

didn’t have to do so. . .