Ramón had always dreamed of exploring the river…even though this year in school he had learned that large sections of the great river had been tamed. Now that once unruly river passed through parts of the city in a straight line. Now the water was mostly brown. And in some places to the south, the river was drying up. But none of that mattered to Ramón. He was a hopeful dreamer.

The Legend of the Lady in Blue

Sister Maria de Jesus was “…a beautiful young nun who wore a blue habit. Sister Maria lived in a convent far across the ocean in Spain, but the Indians in the American Southwest came to know her, as if she was living among them. They called her the Lady in Blue. When they were in trouble, the Lady in Blue would appear out of the air to comfort them. She was a vision of hope, especially to the desperate walkers struggling across the desert.”

The Coyote

Her grandfather’s voice faded away, and Rosa began to dream about the small farm house where she was born. Her mother was moving around inside the house, humming a song. She was outside playing with the white kitten. When she heard the faint click of a metal lock opening, she stopped playing with the kitten and looked up. A coyote was coming through the gate.

The Mexican Border

Now Maria could see the barbed wire fence that marked the border. On the other side of the fence, a packed dirt road ran parallel to la linea as far into the distance as she could see. The fence had been cut in several places, leaving openings large enough to climb through. Ripped knapsacks, blankets, odd athletic shoes and huaraches, plastic bottles, even a pair of pliers lay tossed around on the ground near the openings in the fence.

Signs of Danger

They drove past a small growth of willows. An old Chevy with the word “TAXI” painted on its side was parked off the road, just beyond the trees. Maria could see the driver inside the car. He was reading the paper and smoking a cigar, but she couldn’t see his face. He didn’t bother to look up when they went by.

Maria Chavez

It was hard to know what she was thinking. It was hard to know who she was. Danforth and Cali had mentored her closely over the past six months, and even they still saw her as a puzzle with missing pieces.
If you couldn’t get by the shyness and the reserve, Danforth thought, you might think she lacked depth, that she was all technique and no feeling. But he knew differently. He’d seen her purposeful and angry, like the time she’d rescued the little boy out at the projects. And when she opened up about herself, her eyes spoke of such pain, it seemed they must belong to someone else entirely.