Sh*t you Can't Say to your Teacher

Teacher, I can't do this anymore.

I can't handle this work you're giving me.

It's too much.

I know I took AP classes to get somewhere,

and I knew it'd be a lot of work,

but not to this degree.


And Teacher tells me that she's warned her classes.

She's given us X resources,

Y weeks to complete Assignment Z.

She won't listen.

She doesn't understand.


But Teacher I am telling you I don't have time.

I'm not part of all these clubs like the others.

I don't have time.

I get home from school,

I get dressed for work,

I make sure Bubba and Sister are fed and safe.

I make dinner out of the scraps in the fridge

because Mama forgot to buy groceries

for the third month in a row.

I clean up the alcohol bottles,

kiss my siblings goodbye,

and walk to work.


But Teacher says I don't need to have a job.

I don't need to pay bills.

She says that every student tells her that,

and that it's a bold faced lie.

She isn't listening.

She doesn't understand.


But teacher I work until 11pm

making 7.25 an hour

Monday through Friday.

I work 12 hour shifts on weekends,

and I haven't been to church since 8th grade.

I'm sure God can forgive me,

but, Teacher,

can you?

Because you're not listening.

You don't understand.


You see, Teacher,

Mama's been livin' off the bottle since Bubba and Sister were born.

She calls them "demon spawn,

those bastard kids."

She blames them for her drinking.

Their daddy left long before they were born

and they almost didn't make it.

Mama wouldn't stop drinking.

When they were born, it was a miracle that they lived.

And now here they are

practically my children

while Mama drinks and sleeps.

She has no job

and we live off food stamps and unemployment.

It isn't enough though, Teacher.

It's never enough.

I have to work day in and day out for them.

I don't necessarily mind.

Though, you seem to,

but only because now I'm failing your class.

You're not listening.

You dont understand,


Teacher, you're telling us to start thinking about college.

The only reason I want to go

is so I wont have to see Bubba and Sister live like this forever.

But you're telling me I can't go

with grades like these.

You ask me for an explanation,

and I try to tell you everything,

but you're telling me my problems arent real.

You're telling me I'm giving you excuses.

You're not listening.



you don't understand.

This poem is about: 
My community
Our world


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