The Arena: A Poem

Another morning comes

And I shift my thoughts to entering

Into battle…into the scrape,

The screaming, maddening, rage of chaos

And it’s crushing me

“Bless you for all you do” , they say…

They have no idea what I do—

They don’t know the draining, ceaseless torrent

Of waiting for the next tantrum

Or the next attack…or holding things together when

They wont hold together anymore…

When the fabric of sanity has worn through….

They marched us back from the nightmare,

To deal with nightmares of our own;

They threw us back—knowing full well there was danger

With no interests except their own….

They marched us back….and said “you’re the best”…then left us to fall

Because, after all,

we are expendable.

There was a time when I first started

That my passions and skills were high

There was a time I made a difference…

But, in this time, that may mean I die.

But I march on to the arena….and without a choice

Without a voice.

There are many of us, I know this,

Who want to lay down our swords and books

Who want to be done fighting in this arena

And who tire of all the looks

of fear and pain and confusion, and who

From day to day,

And torment after torment,

See freedom so far away

But the world doesn’t work that way for teachers,

We’re expected to hold and stand

Taking our lives, our families and our futures

In “trust” to a  “Board of Governor’s” hand;

That doesn’t care a whit for us

If truth be plainly said…

Who just needs bodies standing there in place

Until the arena is lined with dead.

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