#writephoto — The Asylum Tree

img_1779“Look at that tree, Ma,” Alex said, pointing to a tree with limbs and branches covered torn pieces of cloth. “What does it mean?” he asked her.

“That, sweetie,” Cindy said, “is known as the ‘Asylum Tree.’ It’s meant to remind us of the struggles of people trying to come to the United States from other countries in order to escape violence and persecution.”

“Why does it have all of those rags tied to it?” Alex wanted to know.

“Well, under federal law, anyone from another country can seek asylum — and therefore entry into the U.S. — by claiming to have fled their countries out of fear of persecution over their race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group,” she explained.

“But President Trump is ignoring that law and arresting people from Central America who are seeking asylum,” Cindy said. “ And worse, he’s taking young children away from their mothers and fathers and putting the children into cages.”

“That’s terrible, Ma,” Alex said. “How can our president be so cruel, so heartless?”

“Many of us are asking that same question, Alex,” she agreed. “He is turning our country into a place that many of us don’t recognize anymore. We are embarrassed and ashamed.”

“But the rags,” he said. “I still don’t understand why they are attached to the tree.”

“Each of those pieces of cloth hanging from the tree branches,” she said, “represents a child who has been torn away from their mother or father to remind us of the inhumanity of Donald Trump and those who support him.”

“I hope that the next time we come to see this Asylum Tree, there will be no more rags tied to it,” Alex said.

“I hope so to, sweetie,” Cindy said.


Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

To Be Enlightened

Image result for kid with a gun

“I don’t understand,” Hal said. “It’s just a handgun and I got it to protect our home and family.”

“Okay, fine. I’ll enlighten you,” Rosemary said. “Statistics show that a gun in the home is more likely to be used in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting than to be used for self-defense.”

“Oh come on,” Hal responded. “That’s fake news.”

“No, it’s not. It’s true,” Rosemary said. “Having a gun in the home is eleven times more likely to be used for attempted or successful suicides than for self-defense. It’s seven times more likely to be used in criminal assaults and homicides, and four times more likely in unintentional shooting deaths or injuries.”

“But we’d use the gun exclusively for self-defense,” Hal objected.

Rosemary sighed. “Did you know that, on average, nearly 5,000 children in the United States receive medical treatment in an emergency room each year for a gun-related injury? And about 21% of those injuries are unintentional. Almost 1,300 children die annually from a gun-related injury in this country.”

“Really?” asked Hal, genuinely surprised by the statistics.

“Yes, and in just the first nine months of this year, almost 3,000 teens and kids have been shot,” Rosemary said. “Now do you understand why I don’t want you to bring a gun into our home?”

“But….”

“But nothing. Either that gun goes, or the kids and I go.”

It was Hal’s turn to sigh. “Yes, fine, you’ve enlightened me.”


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “enlighten.”