Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa

Dahlma Llanos-Figueroa taught creative writing, language and literature in the New York City school system before becoming a young-adult librarian and writer. The hardcover edition of Daughters of the Stone was shortlisted as a 2010 Finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Her second novel, A Woman of Endurance, and the Spanish language edition, Indómita, released in 2022. Her short stories have been published in anthologies and literary magazines such as Breaking Ground: Anthology of Puerto Rican Women Writers in New York 1980-2012, Growing Up Girl, Afro-Hispanic Review, Pleaides, Latino Book Review, Label Me Latina/o, and Kweli Journal.

Finding Completeness

“I never want to ask, please fix us.”
from I Want by Jordan Jace

No one has the key to our healing but us.

We have always had everything we needed to become our own best selves.

The goal is finding the key, our own individual, sacred key

That opens the door to our own individual sacred path within.


With open minds,

Discerning ears,

And loving hearts,

Listen to the silence.

We were born with everything we need.

Make space within the silence.


Recognize our song.

Follow the melody of that music.

And let it lead the way.

----------------------------------------------- // ---------------------------------------------------------


I want to think I come from

Women whose wombs carried the world

And feet walked the land

Leaving huge footprints that filled with water

After each step.

They sang songs as they went

Songs that played among the palm fronds the bordered the shore

and rose to fill the tree canopies in the forest.

They brought their stories, laughter, and cries, sailing across the great waters

Pinned them to the nightsky,

And left them

Waiting for their great-great-granddaughters

To recognize and catch them mid-flight.

These women

Stored memory behind guarded eyes

and survival in strong arms,

braiding them both into their daughters’ hair.

They knew we would need guidance

Long after their time

And left us road maps

That we learn to read

On the morning of today. 


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