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Five years old,
I jumped off a bus in Mexico
and never looked back.

I could say “thank you,”
and “tea and a hot dog, please,”
and that was all I needed.

I made friends with the quetzals
and listened to the iguanas’ secrets
while we were buried deep in the dark
of the pyramids of Chicken Pizza.

I bought belts and wooden turtles
from the dirty-faced children
who held them out to me
without asking “kooanto kwesta?”

They took me with them to a lady
who kept treasure in the folds of her skin
and fed me sweets made of caramel
and the stickiest words I’d ever heard.

I wove dresses from her stories
while she braided sunlight into my hair.
Days lost meaning, and minutes stretched
to fill in all of the gaps.

Then I got on another bus,
but the doors wouldn’t open this time,
wouldn’t let me back out
to where I belonged

until the sunlight came out of my hair,
until the words unstuck themselves,
until I gave back the turtles,

until the secrets of the iguanas
were no more than a whispered code
that I couldn’t remember.




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InkWriter13 said...
Jun. 22, 2012 at 1:52 am:
WOW! I love this poem! Superb writing. Very clear, focused, organized. Just the way wriitng should be. A shining example. Beautiful, beautiful, all the way through. Add to favs. 5 stars. Would you please comment on my poems titled In the Library and the Girl?
 
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