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The Gift


If I had a daughter I would tell her

If I had a son I would say


Some days my parents’ neighbors’ grandchildren
walk down the road to give the horse a carrot

There is fear in the way they pull their hands away
as into his long mouth the carrot disappears

Then delight in the way they laugh say thank you
walk back up the road looking at their hands


If I had a son I would tell him

If I had a daughter I would say

Every evening return
empty handed
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