Where Are the Children- Leslie Contreras Schwartz


*Names listed are the names of missing children in Texas

I wrote this poem in response to the daily question “Where are the children?” after news came out that the Department of Health and Human Services “lost” 1,500 undocumented children, with advocates concerned many children were released to human traffickers. Its not enough to be outraged; as socially conscious artists, I believe we are responsible for imagining the realities of the people who suffer. In this poem, I attempted to enter the space and the life – in one instant – of a person living in a trafficking situation, and how her sense of belonging becomes rooted in forming connections with other children.  It is this urge to find human connection, even in the most wretched of situations, is what I hope helps sustains these children–it is my wish that it keeps them going.

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