KAREN G. JOHNSTON is a social worker by trade, a Unitarian-Universalist-with-Buddhist-tendencies by faith, a mother by choice, a socialist by inclination, a lay preacher by gift, and a poet by avocation. She performs her poetry at various community venues primarily in Western Massachusetts. Her work has been published in Red Weather, Equinox, Silkworm and is forthcoming in the anthology, *Women. Period*. (Spinster Ink, 2008). She obtained her Masters in Social Work from Smith College School for Social Work in 1995. She continues to follow her professional path by working in the field of home visiting and child abuse prevention. She is the proud mother of two adoptive children, all three of whom live in Florence, Massachusetts.



 

 

 


 


 

Karen G. Johnston

 

he needs a witness, this poem

 

tantrum

the child

loud

feet stomp

linoleum floor

 

we say

use your

quiet voice

 

the landlord wakes

too early.

guarding his

private property,

he kicks us out

 

using the courts

we have tried so hard

to avoid

in keeping this child

out of the system

which will

punish him

for not being

an e.e. cummings poem

 

but a supreme court

sacrifice

to the wolves

 

testimony

that people do fall

through

   the

cracks

because

it is

his body

broken.

 

published in Equinox, Volume 3, 2006