Spencer Reece

I Will Be a Happy Girl

When I look up at the sky my world is white. The wind blows

the clouds. I want the world to be blue like the ocean across the

street in my imagination. I want my life to be fun like the girls I

hear around on the street. My name is long and complicated. I

don’t know who gave me my name. I don’t like my name. It is

difficult to write. I would like to be a psychologist because I

would like to help many people. I do not have brothers or sisters.

I have parents but I have not seen them in a long time. When I

was six I saw my parents a few times between one and four in the

afternoon. I forgot their names. When I look up at the sky I do

not wonder about them. I am going to play and I am going to

dance to make some fun in the dark shadows. I will be a happy



—Leyli Karolina Figueroa Rodriguez, age 16 



In 2012, Spencer Reece, an Episcopal priest, received a Fulbright grant to teach English at Our Little Roses orphanage in Honduras, where he introduced the students to poetry. He has collected poems from his students into an anthology that he co-edited with Richard Blanco, which is scheduled to be published in 2015 along with a companion documentary film about his time at the orphange. “I Will Be a Happy Girl” is from that collection, Las Chavas (Home Girls): Twelve Love Poems from the Murder Capital of the World.