That words would plow the earth
thoughts could plant rice
ideals have the force of fire

often however
when the room empties of voices
we know more pressing concerns
leave us in dust

the food many students cannot afford
the second hand clothes that tatter with play
futures neglected in decaying
overcrowded classrooms

we poets of wonder
who martyr our time and pleasure
that our students may learn to create
like field hands, we were chosen
by overseers too bloated to care

if we give up, the masters find replacements
if we resist, they throw us out
administrators who believe learning happens
with a flow chart, a budget cut,
and their own power to hire and fire

but in the hallways foreign to discovery
we hatch curiosity in the hearts we nurture
with an errant compliment planted over despair
we open a universe for a student to explore
in themselves

where there is self hatred,
we sow possibilities of love,
where prisons of fear
we show one is not alone

without thanks or honors
we still unearth the most important treasure
our students’ abilities
to build a world
we never imagined
but sought in their dreams.