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Character Study of a Plastic Bag

by Linda Jenkinson

I often wonder what those who come here looking for freedom believe they will find and if they find it. I recently wrote a story I called The Life and Times of Wally B. I wrote the story while thinking of those who leave their homes and families for life in the U.S. I wanted to show how it might feel to leave everything you know and come here where you have only your hope of a better day that keeps you going.

I’m hoping to get it published in the genre of young adult so I won’t be putting it on this site, at least for a while. I didn’t want to pigeonhole any race or ethnicity so I thought of what or who else do we employ in the US that likely comes from another country. Plastic bags.

I realize I anthropomorphized a plastic bag, an inanimate object, but I don’t intend to make light of or to insult immigrants. They are to be commended. Often, after they have faithfully completed the jobs we employ them to do, they are let go to fend for themselves. Some of them do fine, but others end up a creek without a paddle or maybe just stuck in a treetop with no way to get down. Still, it is their optimism, their work ethic, and their indomitable spirit that keeps the polish on our “bright and shining cities on the hill.”


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