Maria Flores knew only a beautiful life,

The flowered walls of her father’s Mexico estate

Sheltered her from the pallid faces and

Barrio clutter scattered about the village.

Maria knew the sweet taste of fresh cornbread

Peppered with green chiles grown in her garden;

She knew her papa’s laugh, his smile, his kind voice.

Maria knew many nice things, and such is a

Lucky childhood, to be the recipient

Of a great effort to protect innocence, her

Father’s aim to barricade her from incivility, and

Foster an environment of creativity and love.

Still, the world has a way of falling apart, if only

To be reborn with new vigor.

The entire village was stunned by the accusation,

Assuredly false, that Maria’s father was guilty, then

Sentenced to be hanged.

The tears flowed as though Thales of Miletus

Found the source of his watery archê in Maria.

Her papa was gone.

Her happy childhood abruptly ended. Yet,

Maria’s newly ashen heart was determined

To beat vibrant-red again someday.

She would live to make her papa proud, for

He taught her —

A beautiful life is a choice.

Originally published at

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