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Dan Erickson

About this Christian Poet:
Dan Erickson lives in Modesto California with his wife and two daughters. Dan grew up in Ecuador, the son of missionaries. He and his wife are in the process of adopting a little boy from Hong Kong.

Exchange

I watched a Quechua Indian woman in our front room
control three of ten stairstep children with one hand.
With the other, she offered my missionary mother
a plastic bag with six eggs
and the daughter named Maria Elena.

I watched Maria Elena beam at my missionary father.
She would gladly exchange
life in their tin shack for life in our brick house.

My father sat down across our kitchen table
from the Quechua mother as the children played
with the magic of our light switches.
He explained in flawed Spanish—God gives us our children.
He said we feed our own, raise our own, love our own.

The Quechua mother understood.
She said we could keep the eggs.

Yesterday I remembered
this thing that happened in our front room
I called Ecuador on the phone.
Mom, I said, Dad,
you did the right thing
I think
but still
I would have loved a sister with long, black hair.

Copyright©2002 by Dan Erickson