A Sestina For the Educated Tool: An Adjunct Poem

Sestina for the Educated Tool

Assuming ethos before my students,
I argue education’s importance
as a vehicle to one’s lifetime goals:
“Knowledge is a tool for empowerment
which can raise one out of poverty
and evoke a world of possibilities.”

Yet there are other possibilities,
ones that teachers rarely tell their students:
That education won’t prevent poverty
as long as efficiency’s importance
affects those who seek some empowerment
outside the margins of spreadsheeted goals.

Within the margins of spreadsheeted goals
exist only funded possibilities
meant to equate educational empowerment
with credentialing workers. Those students
looking beyond economic importance
find riches rewarded with poverty.

Yes, these educated toil in poverty
caused not by lack of professional goals
but rather, by the deferred importance
of human values and possibilities
not tied to direct paychecks for students,
but about personal empowerment.

My ethos, you see lacks the empowerment
of a promised escape from poverty.
Truly, were I honest with my students
I should reveal to how sometimes, the goals
of others deny possibilities
which are reflective of our own importance.

In fact, it is their presumed importance
which makes education without empowerment,
and instead makes possibilities
fade before the working poverty
of educated tools, whose unreached goals
are projected onto ideal students.

Possibilities beyond poverty
ensure importance and empowerment
when goals empower teachers and students.


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