Collecting Water by Lisa Oyanna

When the summer comes
we hide on down
in the midday heat and
watch the land shrink
as the devils rise to play and blur
the horizon. But we have to drink.

A woman walks there
as the land bakes.
Her skin is black
her Iro and Gele are deep red,
the water jug, held with one hand
upon its rim, atop her head.
She sways along the path,
moving to the heat waves.

In her vessel is the water
for her children,
from the well five miles back.
She's one of many mothers
collecting water every morning.

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