The Patterns of Place: Seeking Shelter; Finding Home

Front Matter


My inspiration for The Patterns of Place: Seeking Shelter; Finding Home came from the refugee crisis in the Middle East and across the Mediterranean Sea, specifically, the image of Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old boy who drowned and whose body washed ashore.



A loud rumble drew Marisol Flores to the window of the second floor apartment. Her chest tightened when she peeked between drawn curtains to see a steel gray armored truck stopped directly in front of the building in which she had lived for the past two years.



I don’t know her name. I don’t know
what she gathers of life
when she stands
in the morning


I come from a place
where flowers are celebrated
by being crushed between

Learning to Tell

His earliest childhood years were
in battles and refugee camps,
no rocking chairs or playgrounds.


Karaoke Blues

Then the door parts.  If this is a western, he’s the lone cowboy drifting in on a gritty breeze.

Naming the Stars

When I was little, I used to think that when the sun went down it would take the clouds with it, clearing the sky for the stars.

Back Matter

Special Thanks

First, thank you to the Hendrix-Murphy Foundation for supporting creative writing in the community and helping to cover the costs of Scintilla. Secondly, thank you to all the writers who have been patient and gracious as I’ve moved through this year of grief. It’s been a difficult time and I’ve felt the love and support you all have shown.