By Dee Rivers
As she moves down the slight slope to the stream that is nothing more than a thread of apricot-colored water, Abeni stops and gathers the skirt of her m’ bou bou, the better to keep its hem dry as she wrangles two cumbersome jerrycans she has lugged six miles to fill. She lays them on their side in the three-inch-deep water. The trickle-in begins.
Heat waves may be mirages, but they scorch her face. She squats to rest, leaning against a clump of the annual grass already dying just weeks into the season of hot winds.