On the road before their houses are women in turquoise and blue, their heads and back bent to the wet earth- sweeping and sprinkling.The way elephants do in the morning forest.Their mothers-in-law had done it in their time. Like them the earth smelled of their bodies.
And the children wait for school in uniforms for yellow buses to stop before wet patches careful not to tread on rice powder designs their mothers had made on their wet patches. Their designs are pretty but highly transient only to be eaten by sparrows of the morning. The sparrows have become heavy in stomachs of rice powder eating from beauty designs.
But the sparrows are now not there in mirrors.In the afternoons they were pecking in mirrors at their sworn enemies of themselves in the mirrors of women when the latter combed oiled plaits for the evening. The birds have perhaps gone of morning sickness or of far too many cell phone calls in their air.
The women love their afternoon gossip ,you see. Luckily mothers-in-law are now gone for good,like sparrows that have gone from the mirrors.