It is too much for one person to change.
Children with parents who need parents themselves.
Schools with no money and no support.
Crime and drugs and latch-key kids.
One more teacher hangs it up,
discouraged by what cannot be changed
by just one person.
We the public ask why.
Yet could we do what we ask
our teachers to do?
Could we face each day the child
who is hungry, who does not sleep at night,
the child whose parents are druggies,
whose parents never come home,
who brings a knife to defend himself each day
just to get to school?
Could you? Could I?
And so the children suffer; poverty and drugs prevail.
One more good teacher leaves the battle
to find a place where the sounds of the struggle
are far away and muted
by the city’s insistent rumbling belly.