Dust-coated lips touch
Sand in her nail beds
Settle on a little forehead.
Her turban bathed in sweat
Comes undone and shelters
Her baby's face from noon sun.
Calloused fingers caressed the collar
Of the shirt that belongs to her husband.
Her husband's lungi hides her feminity.
A feminity that would otherwise make
A brick-hauling, cement-churning, strong woman vulnerable and inviting
To make ends meet she takes up her husband's attire and lifestyle.
She accepts peanuts as wages. Illiterate and naive.
In few minutes of respite she gets
She exchanges affection and dust.