You're accessing this slice of literary goodness for free because we believe anyone and everyone should be able to access the best in fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and art. And because we don't ask our readers to pay for Guernica, we do—for web hosting, server costs, and the other incidentals necessary to keep Guernica up and running, and, most importantly, open and available to as many people as possible, around the world.
If like us you believe in a widely accessible Guernica, consider supporting the magazine with a tax deductible donation or by subscribing. We'll only be asking for two weeks, three times a year—asking for support from readers like you on your own terms: our all-volunteer staff gives to Guernica out of love, and we extend that friendship to you. If you love Guernica, click to help make sure an ever-growing community can continue to read, react, and participate. Each month, more than 100,000 unique readers visit guernicamag.com—even a small amount, a couple of dollars, from just half of those visitors would sustain us for many, many moons.
Our infinite thanks,
The Guernica Team
Many Small Children
By Janet Kauffman
March 1, 2012
Many small children have taken to hiding
along the stream. Or in swamps. They dive.
They disappear for months. Longer.
It’s not like skipping school. They study
flagella, muskrats. They collect wetland grasses
and press them. There is always paper.
They are so poor they have little hair
and bare feet. There is never a trail
of crumbs or plastic or size 5 shoe-prints.
We miss them, but they have each other.
And something else. We’re not sure
if they’ve made reed flutes or if they hum.
Press here to play the MP3.
Janet Kauffman grew up on a tobacco farm in Pennsylvania. She lives in Michigan, where she taught writing and mixed media at Eastern Michigan University for many years. She has published fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, including, most recently, Five on Fiction (Burning Deck Press), a collection of prose poems, and Trespassing: Dirt Stories and Field Notes (Wayne State University Press), a book containing half stories and half essays on the factory farm crisis in her watershed.
Homepage Photograph by Kottie Gaydos
Readers like you make Guernica possible. Please show your support.
Tagged with: American poetry By Janet Kauffman Janet Kauffman