Monday, November 30, 2020

There Are Only 1,000 Numbats Left in the Wild by Christopher DeWeese

There Are Only 1,000 Numbats Left in the Wild

because what they need are quiet woods
where trees fall and nothing happens
the moss like a lake of no drowning
the birds like management in a factory
I don’t know
I know none of this should surprise me
in poetry class I write NUMBATS on the board
and the students look at their phones
they say ooh they’re so cute
and then they get sad about all the dying
on my Annual Faculty Report I write
developed new interdisciplinary pedagogy
under “routine service”
I send it to the dean
but my digital signature looks too big
when I paste it into the document
it lists just slightly to the left
like the diseased hedge in my yard
one question is should I spend two hours
figuring out how to make it right
my head like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch
of figuring shit like that out
when my union went on strike
I was replaced by a poet from Linkedin
I stood outside in the Januaried wind
for three angry weeks
and my daughter said bosses stop this isn’t right
and then she wrote it on a sign
I tell my students that writing poems
might not be their career
but it still can be their life
and the dean sends me a note tied with red string
that says actually many CEOs majored in humanities
did I mention I’m being observed
did I mention that enrollment is down
did I mention I’m serving on six committees
the fact that anything grows anywhere
is one example of belief
my students keep looking at me
like they’re expecting me to help them
like it’s my job to help them
so I erase NUMBATS from the board
and instead I write MERITOCRACY
and my students look at their phones
and then they cry what do you mean

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