River steps

River steps are wet with village women’s baths.
A golden sunlight floods the mornings in boats
Leaving early for mountains on wrinkled rivers.

Giant banyans greet them from the other bank
Spreading their shadows of hair on the blue sky.
Mornings are for sun, palms cupped with water

Looking the sun in the eye, lips softly trembling
With prayers, as white wet clothes cling to body.
On the river bed, the buffaloes bath in shallows,

Unperturbed by the sun flashing in vacant eyes,
Like little rocks in the bed laid smooth and bare
By a dried up river, after last year’s flash floods.

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