#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 too, sweetie,” Cindy said.

Written for Sue Vincent’s Thursday Photo Prompt.

Little Dottie Dash

Image result for dot dash

Poor little Dorothy. She couldn’t believe how cruel her friends could be towards her. She was nothing but kind and caring to everyone else, but all she got was grief and ridicule from her classmates.

They would call her “Dot” or “Dottie.” Even the girl she had been best friends with through the fourth grade recently started calling her “Dot Dot.” Some of the meaner kids in her class called her “SOS.” One particularly obnoxious boy called her “Morse.” She hated that nickname the most.

All Dorothy wanted was for everyone to call her by her real name, the name her parents chose for her.

She was so upset and depressed by what the other kids in her class called her that she didn’t want to go to school. Her parents became concerned and made an appointment to discuss the situation with her teacher.

“Good afternoon,” the teacher said to Dorothy’s parents, inviting them into her classroom at the end of the school day. “Dorothy is such a lovely child. She’s smart, she’s eager. But she is a little too sensitive, I’m afraid.”

“That’s what we wanted to talk about with you,” Dorothy’s father said. “She’s very upset about the nicknames people are using.”

“Well,” said the teacher, “kids at this age can be unintentionally cruel. I know they call her ‘Dot’ or ‘Dottie,’ but those are common nicknames for Dorothy. Maybe you can discuss it with her and let her know that she shouldn’t take it so seriously.”

“You’re right,” said Dorothy’s mother. “Thanks for hearing us out. We’ll speak with her about this.”

“Dorothy’s a lovely girl and I appreciate the two of you, Mr. and Mrs. Dash, coming in to have this discussion.”

“Oh, don’t be so formal,” Dorothy’s father said. “I’m Nicholas Dash, but my friends call me “En.”

“And I’m Emma Dash,” said Dorothy’s mother. “Most people call me “Em.”

This post is in response to today’s one-word prompt: Dash.