In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Our Survival Is Our Blessing, and: Adjunct Blues, and: Write Me a Paper, and: A Primer for Online Teaching, or How to Kill Your Soul, and: Death and Papers to Grade, and: Somewhere in Texas Is a Jail for Babies, and: Mothers Rising, and: 99 Other Jobs for ICE Agents, and: Rhymes with Trump
  • Melissa Tennyson (bio)

Our Survival Is Our Blessing

For those of us who havelonged for somethingthat didn’t have a name

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us who have knownthe sudden lash of crueltyin the place we thought was safe

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us who have known too wellthe sharp edges of alonenessamidst the lavishness of springtime

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us whose sleephas been shattered by the ghostsof cruelty and loss

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us who have tried to ignorethat steady ache for something else—a new story: as simple as sunlight and rest

    our survival is our blessing. [End Page 148]

For those of us whose cry at midnightslips unnoticed toward moonlightand stars, those other worlds we dream of

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us who have shouldereda terrible burden, made invisible to the worldby some cruel spell

    our survival is our blessing.

For those of us who drawthe furious gawk of strangerswhen we reach for the one we love

    our survival is our blessing.

May courage weave its strong webover our wounds

may joy surprise us as we shake off sleepin the morning light

may we find each other, and the path tothe home we never knew

may we paint our lives in the colorsof laughter

may we know that

our survival is our blessing. [End Page 149]

Adjunct Blues

I taught when my daughter was a baby, still nursing.As I raced off for class, I tried not to think ofhow small she looked in the arms of another,reaching for me with a sob.When I got home,my breasts hardened with milk,I nursed her, desperate to soothe the burning.

    Higher ed, what else do you want from me?

I graded papersthe day after my father died.Too exhausted to move, Iwrote comments and posted feedback.Online schools don’t care about death, andI had to pay the bills.

    Higher ed, what else do you want from me?

I taught a class on my wedding day.True story.Showed up to class in vest and tie.I gave my sweetheart flowers, kissed her on the steps of the courthouse,then caught the bus for campus.

    Higher ed, what else do you want from me? [End Page 150]

Write Me a Paper

Write me a paper abouthow your writing teacher lost herhealthcare because her class got cancelled.

Write me a paper abouthow your writing teacher has touse food stamps to feed her daughter.

Write me a paper abouthow your writing teacher doesn’t knowif she has a job next term.

Write me a paper abouthow your writing teacher has tochoose between gas for the car or food for the table.

Write me a paper abouthow your writing teacher cried onthe day she got the card: “congratulations on your ten years of service.”

Write me a paper abouttwo or three pages,double-spaced, Times New Roman,one-inch margins, no extra spaces.Give it a title, staple it.Of course you need a thesis statement.

Write me a paper, and then burn it.I already know the story. [End Page 151]

A Primer for Online Teaching, or How to Kill Your Soul

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Additional Information

ISSN
2151-7371
Print ISSN
2151-7363
Pages
pp. 148-157
Launched on MUSE
2019-05-08
Open Access
No
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