Mi Cajita de Dulces

(My Candy Box)
by Melanie Avila, Guatemala

I’ll sell you a lollipop for un quetzal –
my stomach is growling, a cup of atol*
would curb my hunger

Or perhaps a cookie for Q2.50 –
tonight I need to prepare supper for myself
and my 2 brothers

I also sell gum –
I save every quetzal to pay the rent for my room (Q400/mo = $50 USD)

Here’s a cigarette if you like –
I need to buy a new cajita de dulces;
the police took my brother’s and he has nothing to sell…it’s been a month

Please don’t pass me by and not buy something –
mi cajita de dulces es mi vida y esperanza (my candy box is my life and hope) 

*atol is a porridge made of corn or rice