Lament of a Broken Teacher

Something’s amiss
because this puzzle is causing me
a great deal of puzzlement
as there’s clearly a piece
I’m missing.

I can’t see it.

Maybe it’s hidden
amongst my puffs of frustration;
or maybe it’s hidden
amongst the fluff of my personality;
my smile and how I look you in the eye
to respect you and treat you like
the young adults that you are.

I trained and I trained hard.
I read books
wrote essays
slept with my eyes wide open
to be able to bear the title


and yet
I wonder what it is
I’m teaching;
who it is
I’m reaching;
if I’m reaching
or whether I have my arms outstretched
to guide you onto the path of discovery.

I’m tempted
to withdraw my hands,
roll them into a fist
and shove them down my throat
for then my cries will be silenced
and I’ll have no reason
to feel like a failure,
for today
the test you set me
hit me hard and
I failed.

© LaYinka Sanni, March 2012


4 thoughts on “Lament of a Broken Teacher

  1. This was a beautiful piece. If based on real life I can only encourage you to keep pushing, often times teachers don’t see any results though they teach and teach and advice and teach and the students don’t seem to change. However, a teachers job is to plant seeds and wait, different students grow at different rates but you must always be patient. As a college student, I can say that some teacher changed my life and never knew it.


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