Galeano On Salgado: 17
The last of the series from Eduardo Galeano's "Salgado, 17 Times":
17. Caravans of pilgrims wander the African desert, dying, searching futilely for a blade of grass, an insect to eat. Are they people or mummies that move? Are they walking statues, disfigured by the wind, in the last throes or asleep, perhaps alive, perhaps dead, perhaps at once dead and alive?
A man carries his son or bones that were his son in his arms and that man is a tree, rigid and tall, rooted in the solitude. Rooted in the solitude, an amazing tree caresses the air, swaying its long branches, the foliage a head leaning over a shoulder or a breast. A dying child manages to move its hand in a final gesture, the gesture of a caress, and caressing, dies. Is that woman who walks, or drags herself, against the wind a bird with broken wings? Is that scarecrow with arms thrown open in the solitude a woman?