Tuesday, April 05, 2011

What Do You Make?

What committee of goofs
decided that professional
baseball players should make
millions of dollars a year?

What concord was reached
in a thirtieth-story conference room
that corporate CEOs should
make more than baseball players?

What apathy was invoked
so that public school teachers
make just enough to eke out
a living above the poverty line.

Baseball players are mere
entertainers.  They hit a ball
with a piece of wood
and run around a rhombus.

Corporate CEOs supervise making
a profit. They don't do anything but
make decisions that prove
avarice is the root of all evil.

If you know what
a rhombus is, odds are
a teacher is responsible.

If you know right
from wrong, you can thank
your parents and teachers.

Teachers don't make a decent wage.
Don't kid yourself that they do.
However, they do the most important work.
They make a difference.

* * * * *

This poem was written in response to a prompt at Poetic Asides to write a serious poem.


  1. Anonymous12:51 AM

    Amen to that, brother. This former Special Educator hears you. Now I do Human Services. Just as much responsibility, just as much riding on the outcome, same (actually slightly less) crappy pay.

  2. Anonymous1:02 AM

    Sadly, all too true. And you can include nurses, police, etc. The people who make a difference to our lives should come at the top of the pay scale.

    An angry and effective poem.

  3. Amen brother, it is a sad, sad, fact, teachers and police are the lowest paid occupations in the states. Thanks for this poem, Mr. Walker.


  4. Excellent! So true, and well expressed.
    Mad Kane

  5. Ron, Tilly, Pamela, and Mad Kane, thank you all for stopping by and commenting. And thank you for pointing out some other professions that do important service work for which they are not well compensated. I wish I knew how to right this imbalance.

  6. Pay us more! I love my job, and love summers off. The pay is not too horrible to me, but the attitude of the public seems to worsen daily. Teachers get blamed for many of society's ills. Society needs to get over that idea(I'm just saying...).
    ~Mrs. Warren

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  8. Brenda, thank you so much for your thoughtful comments. I love my job too. And there are rewards for teaching far beyond money. And I think you touch on the key issue, how teachers are valued. If we were valued for the work that we do, what we contribute, we wouldn't be blamed.

  9. At the end of the poem I am wondering why the fish spends so much time thinking about the earth. Doth he protest too much? :-) Very interesting read. I could hear the fish's voice!

  10. Nan, thank you for reading "Agitation". He is a bit of a cranky, complaining fish, isn't he? Just a tad bitter. I was going for the idea that he lives on the planet Earth too, but he doesn't identify with earth but with water instead. I'm glad the fish's voice came through.