夫が死んで8年。Francescaは67歳の誕生日を迎えました。昔からのド田舎の家に今も1人で住んでいます。子供たち2人は今年も母の誕生日に帰ってきませんでした。誕生日をお祝いするために来てくれた友達たちも帰って行きました。そして夕方Francescaは1人でブランデイを飲みながら、毎年の儀式になったRobert Kincaidから来た手紙を読み返したところです。

Francesca (5)

Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill and stared at an
eight-by-ten black-and-white photograph of herself. Sometimes it was hard for her to
remember how she had looked then, twenty-two years ago. In tight faded jeans,
sandals, and a white T-shirt, her hair blowing in the morning wind as she leaned
against a fence post.
Through the rain, from her place by the window, she could see the post where the old
fence still circumscribed the pasture. When she rented out the land, after Richard died, she stipulated the pasture must be kept intact, left untouched, even though it was empty now and had turned to meadow grass.
The first serious lines were just beginning to show on her face in the photograph. His
camera had found them. Still, she was pleased with what she saw. Her hair was
black, and her body was full and warm, filling out the jeans just about right. Yet it was
her face at which she stared. It was the face of a woman desperately in love with the
man taking the picture.
She could see him clearly, down the flow of her memory. Each year she ran all of
the images through her mind, meticulously, remembering everything, forgetting nothing, imprinting all of it, forever, like tribesmen passing down an oral history through the generations. He was tall and thin and hard, and he moved like the grass itself, without effort, gracefully. His silver-gray hair hung well below his ears and nearly always looked disheveled, as if he had just come in from a long sea voyage through a stiff wind and had tried to brush it into place with his hands.


解説:

Francesca Johnson set her brandy glass on the wide oak windowsill(窓の下枠) and
stared at an eight-by-ten(8X10 インチ) black-and-white photograph of herself. Sometimes it was hard for her to remember how she had looked then, twenty-two years ago.

In tight faded(色あせた) jeans, sandals, and a white T-shirt, her hair blowing in the morning wind as she leaned against a fence post(杭).
■前回「One is the shot(写真) I took of you in the pasture(放牧場) at sunrise.」とあった、あの写真の説明です。

Through the rain, from her place by the window, she could see the post where the old
fence still circumscribed(取り囲む) the pasture(放牧場).
■写真から目を離して外を見ています。

When she rented out(賃貸しする) the land, after Richard died, she stipulated(条件として要求する) the pasture must be kept intact(そのままの), left untouched, even though it was empty now and had turned to meadow(草地) grass.
The first serious lines(しわ) were just beginning to show on her face in the
photograph. His camera had found them. Still, she was pleased with what she saw.
Her hair was black, and her body was full(ぽっちゃりした) and warm, filling out(ふくらませる) the jeans just about right(丁度いい具合に). Yet it was her face at which she stared. It was the face of a woman desperately(物凄く) in love with the man taking the picture.
She could see him clearly, down the flow of her memory. Each year she ran all of
the images through her mind, meticulously(入念に), remembering everything, forgetting nothing, imprinting(を刻み込む) all of it, forever, like tribesmen(部族民) passing down(伝える) an oral history through the generations. He was tall and thin and hard, and he moved like the grass itself, without effort, gracefully. His silver-gray hair hung well below his ears and nearly always looked disheveled(かき乱された), as if he had just come in from a long sea voyage through a stiff(激しい) wind and had tried to brush it into place(しかるべき場所) with his hands.