October 21, 2016

Anna M. Evans

THE ADJUNCT’S VILLANELLE

You just come in and teach, then you can go,
she says, distracted by her tenure file.
I wish someone would tell my students so.

From there I leave to meet with one who’s slow
to understand the work. It takes a while
to teach him what he needs. Then, I can go.

Another texts: the fetus didn’t grow.
She’s on bed rest for weeks. Can I compile
the work she’ll miss? I can, and tell her so.

Two student emails wait: one’s in a show
and really wants me there. Good kid. I smile
and write back saying I’ll be thrilled to go.

The second wants a reference. Just say no,
I’m told. I could, but cannot reconcile
this with the student I remember. So,

the one whose mom died doesn’t need to know
my story, how I have to swallow bile
when I hear how I come, and teach, and go.
I don’t. I wish someone would tell them so.

from Rattle #53, Fall 2016
Tribute to Adjuncts

[download audio]

__________

Anna M. Evans: “Although this poem is the first and only I have so far written to address the subject of my work as an adjunct professor at Stockton University directly, my job affects my poetry in subtle ways. I have become a crusader for social injustice and that is a thread that runs through my poems. I also see social media as the battleground in which these issues will play out and have worked hard to understand it.” (website)