In this cramped and dark room, Fatna weaves. She cuts strips of fabric from her old clothes and unravels worn pullovers. Sometimes for a day, sometimes for a few hours, depending on her workload, to kill some time or stave off boredom. Since her children have grown‐up, her granddaughters are now in charge of collecting firewood for the kanoun and other chores. So she spends entire days at her loom, set up in front of her widow’s bed. Her movements have a mechanical regularity. She makes knots around one of the weft’s strings then with a sharp cut removes the excess fabric. She aligns the strips of cloth by colour, in rows of six or eight knots. The she changes. Uncertain lozenges and almost square circles appear as if by magic, defying the laws of geometry. Fatna, however, knows neither how to read or count, She goes along as she pleases, in the moment, on instinct, giving her boucharouites a slight touch of madness. She has tried to copy the carpets she saw at her neighbours’, but the results look nothing like the perfect rugs straight out of a Turkish telenovela. Blue, green, yellow, she’s not afraid of any combination. This nice luminous blue is her favourite. She even wears some today. Despite the years and the weariness, she still remains as stylish as ever. For every festive occasion she covers her hands and feet with a thick coat of henna. She wouldn’t even consider for a second to show her worn nails and the cracks of her peasant’s hands. She also likes to coordinate her outfits. On top of her bathrobe, which she wears like a jacket, she added a scarf of the same colour, bits of which have already been incorporated into the carpet she’s still weaving. It doesn’t bother her. The number of boucharouites she’s made! One or two a year for the last fifteen years. She’s made one for each of her children, for her sisters, for her family. Every time she chose the nicest clothes of her wardrobe to make a little mattress of colour and softness for their austere dwellings. But the one she’s weaving today, she’ll keep herself, anticipating the cold harsh winter in the Atlas. It’ll be large and thick to cover the whole floor. She’ll have earned it. Fatna always preferred the boucharouites she made herself over the ones bought from the market of the neighbouring village, soulless and a lot less warm. Her sons, however, don’t like them, and leave them folded in a corner, only to be pulled out during a very cold spell or for the children to play on. They’re ashamed to display these boucharouites in their own homes, symbols of their poverty. That may be. But do they realise all the patience and love that went into them? Of how much of herself that has been woven between these strings of cotton, of her dresses that still carry her scent, of the shirts of their father, since passed away, harking back to another life.