Falling Stars

by Elizabeth

There is a small back-pocket field in the south of France where people come each fortnight. The people are of every cut of cloth, girls in petticoats, men in blue jackets, young and middling and ancient ones, the last as blind as bats. They are jaunty and humble and demure and wide-eyed, and if you emptied their pockets, you would collect on the whole one hundred francs, twenty-four centimes, a broken hair pin, two cat-eye marbles, a piece of thread, and very much lint. They are not more than fifteen in number, though occasionally they are less, for presently a bad cough is going around and the elder ones aren’t much for getting out, sturdy beds and hot air too strong of a temptation for their brittle bones.