A Hundred Gourds 5:1 December 2015

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Lorraine Mejia – USA

American Dream

Marisol's young daughter looked just like she did at the same age: ebony hair flowing halfway down her back, brown skin flawlessly smooth like perfectly-cooked flan, round almost-black eyes filled with dreams. She remembered her own deepest desire, her one driving passion: to escape this small village and relentless poverty – to educate herself and work in one of those American office cubicles she saw on TV. She imagined what it would be like to have her own space. She would sit back each day – if only for a moment – and gaze in gratitude at those soothing gray walls, taking a deep breath in, breath out, thanking Dios for this space and silence that were only her own. All her life she had saved . . . but it was too late for her now.

She handed the money to the coyote, held her daughter close with the force of all her lifelong yearnings, then let her go and watched them step away together. Her daughter turned to look back at her one last time, and Marisol used all her loving strength to stand solid so that Luz’s last memory would not be of her mother crying, but of her strong and certain face telling her daughter she would be the one to find the light.

unending barren desert –
almost the sound
of a rattlesnake

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