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The Dying Boy to His Anonymous Wish-Granters

Thank you for the jungle safari, the hot-air

balloons spelling my name, the jar of red dust

from Mars. Thanks for bringing the quarterback

to my house instead of school so the bullies couldn’t

get their footballs signed. Thanks for the submarine

ride to the Titanic wreck, the Legoland sleepover,

the constellation named after my dog. My favorite

part was everything. My dad says everyone’s running

out of time—not just me. Anyone can step off a curb

and get hit by a bus. Maybe I should have wished

for all of us to stay on the curb. But no one can

make that happen, not even the guy who shows up

on your porch with balloons and a giant cardboard

check. Anyway, thanks for the video game with me

as the hero. It’s awesome. He looks just like me,

but stronger, mowing down zombies with a blowtorch

and coming back to life every time I hit reset. 

Posted 04/25/14
originally published in The Florida Review
Books by Maggie Smith
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