She wakes up before dawn. Mounts
her cardboard cubicle on the pavement
at a street corner. It is chilly and windy.
Without delay she pours cooking oil
into the aluminum container perched
on a three-legged stand under which
there are popping flames.
In the yellow bowl she stirs the flour
with vigour. The fire is warming her up.
With her hands she squeezes the flour
into fist-sized lumps and drowns
them in the blistering oil.
Over a short space of time the hot
oil turns the floury swellings into brown
With her fork she pierces each fried brown
bun and shrugs it off into another vessel.
She yawns. The heat is soothing. It is coaxing.
She has to sell to eke out a living.
A single parent with four dependents.
Her mouth is agape, there is a cascade of saliva
going down her chin, down to where her vessel lies. The
sun is peeping. Her customers, school children
and factory workers halt, stare and walk away.