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Day Nine: Deja Earley

Cada Regalo Perfecto

Sonora, Mexico

Watching three orphans scramble on half-buried tires, and the others grip pencils and crayons as if we’d given them chocolate, I turn my purse inside out.

The Altoids to a boy who sketches me on his new chalkboard, looking up again and again to get the nose right—a Sesame Street oval.

My lip gloss to a slouching girl with a name I can’t pronounce who loves geography and sweeps the cloistered walkways every day.

The crackers to a sweaty kid I pose near at group picture time; we’re friends for the count of three.

My frozen water bottle to those we watch through the back window of the bus who jump and wave in the dust and trash and shattered flowerpots next to the technicolor Cristus in the dry fountain His robe magenta, His arms open, a plump bird perched in His hand.

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Deja Earley has published poems, essays, and stories in journals like Arts and Letters, Borderlands, and Diagram, and several of her poems were recently included in Fire in the Pasture: 21st Century Mormon Poets. She lives in the Boston area.

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