Around Water

Photograph: Caren Firouz

The walk to the river was long,

the daily ritual of survival

Purpose filled strides

toward liquid life


Social chit-chat

bubbled between women

like the droplets of splashed water

Scraps of news,

a joke at the expense of a man

and then pots lifted,

balanced on heads

and a slower tread away


Progress is water

outside the door

The change of habit

time saved

the gathering now

circles the pump

Restorative spews out,

cold, wet, quenching


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