The Cogs: A Poem

Everyone I know,

especially we who teach,

know what Monday means.

Monday is when the cogs starts turning….

It means, one more day of holding on and trying

to stay upright with a smile stapled to your face

and to march, as soldiers, to a classroom

that has become a minefield

It means, another 5 days to crawl over razor blades,

To keep more tasks that can be done at one time, completed

while managing to keep your personal life from dying

and to keep your soul from being chipped away just a little more

As a gear’s cog turns an engine, so we turn the wheel

that churns through the muck and the confusion

of what teaching has become…

And stir the shit that we find ourselves drowning in…

“Quit whining”, they say, or “Change Jobs!” .

or “Just do something else!”

but they need the cogs to keep turning

even though they are cracking under the pressure….

They call us cowards for not wanting to do our jobs

and not wanting to risk our lives…

They just go on about their worlds…and so what–

After all, if the cog breaks, just get another gear….

They’re cheap and expendable.

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