Sometimes I think I can teach forever.
Sometimes the dark circles under my eyes
tell me that it’s foolish to try to teach one more hour.
Last night the angels of sleep
interrupted my erotic dream,
laughed at me in my distress!
Now it’s five o’clock Monday morning
and I’m propping up my head with one hand
while writing this lament with the other.
I’d like to forget my lesson plans
and start reading a good book
until I fall asleep again,
waking up around noon
to write fragments of poetry
or a letter to a friend.
Instead, I have to eat breakfast, shower
and change into something suitable for work.
Then I have to drag my weary body
into my classroom where sixteen sullen students
with learning disabilities
will watch me impassively as I try to teach them
about figurative language:
Simi—what? Meta—who? Personifi—why?
We don’t care.
Is their theft of my time worth it,
their theft that leaves me wasted?
Today, probably not.
But tomorrow or the day after
something might change.
And that is the hope that keeps me going,
the grace that spurs me on,
even when all the light is gone
and all I want to do
is crawl back under the covers.