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Gypsy Girl by Bihotza James-Lejarcegui

(First Place Winner of the City High Poetry Contest)

Raccoons in the night,

Rummaging through dumpsters,

Yelling across the river.

11pm and the little ones are alone,

Seated underneath a lamp post,

A pile of used cigarettes in their laps

Like children.


Don’t go outside when they’re out.

Don’t pass the soccer ball

If they ask to play.

Don’t share food

If they eye your meal.

No communication.

No sympathy.


Her name was Marisol.

She was one of them.

She was just a girl.


In her smile

I saw bursts of



My parents packed her

into our car

for trips to the beach,

And they packed her

into our family

each summer.

Her own parents were

Nonexistent in my mind,

Nonexistent in her life.


She ran away one summer,

Whisked away by an older man,

She returned alone,



I saw her one day,

Walking through the town,

Her belly as round as the Earth.

I recognized her, though, because of the

Sunshine on her


Formed into a



The gypsy.

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