Somewhere I read that when they finally staggered off the mountain into some strange town, past drunk, hoarse, half naked, blear-eyed, blood dried under broken nails and across young thighs, but still jeering and joking, still trying to dance, lurching and yelling, but falling dead asleep by the market stalls, sprawled helpless, flat out, then middle-aged women, respectable housewives, would come and stand nightlong in the agora silent together as ewes and cows in the night fields, guarding, watching them as their mothers watched over them. And no man dared that fierce decorum.
From Finding My Elegy by Ursula K. Le Guin. Copyright © 2012 by Ursula K. Leguin. Reprinted with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.