An Ode to Doña Pepa, A Peruvian Treat

AuthorEve Jimenez Sagastegui

DateSpring 2019

Your headwrap is vibrant; green, red, yellow, white

all popping off the plastic in a beautiful array–

–your eyes so full of joy.

Doña Pepa, you stand strong

on the red wrapping of your sweet treat.

I pick you up from my Mamama’s mickey mouse

box. You have travelled a long time to see me

Above the Andes mountains, over the Caribbean,

passing 15 states– you must be tired.

Doña Pepa, you were created for one of the largest parades

in this world. Señor de los Milagros, Christ of Miracles.

And every time Mamama sneaks you into my

hand after I’ve emptied my box I think it must be

another miracle you performed.

I can tell you’re not new. You’ve aged. When I open you the

chocolate has cracked; it falls apart in my hands. The colorful

beads escape and roll off into corners of my home.

But age does not sour your sweetness.

I have other treats but San Jose can only dream

to melt in your mouth the way that you do, sublime craves

your crunch–you are richer than any twix, or kit kat,

or milky way. Better than anything I have found in these States.

Doña Pepa, I don’t have to wait for my Mamama

so you can visit me again. Amazon will

ship you to my home for 8 bucks.

But reuniting with you in a stuffed envelope

is not what I want. I want my Mamama to

take you out of her suitcase, I want to

unwrap her mickey mouse box, I want

Mamama’s rough hands

stuffing your loud plastic

into my school bag.

I’ll wait a little longer, another two years,

another three, I’ll want until I can see you again


You and my Mamama,

my Doña Pepa.