The doors open
Four fires are crackling in the yard as the sun breaks through the dark night. Two roosters crow answering each other with louder and louder calls until the hens and ducks head off along the village’s dirt lanes in search of a quieter place.
Diakaridia cries for his mother’s breast, water pails bang back and forth from the well, dishes clink, grain is pounded – morning noises cause the village to stir and doors to open.
There are 13 doors in the family compound and as many rooms: one for Ladji, three for his wives including their smaller children, two doors for the older boys, one for old Soulouman Malle, another for his first wife, one for the kitchen utensils where the old man’s second wife sleeps with many young children, two for grain, one for farm tools, one to put away the chairs at night, and another for television and video.