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Adjunct Plight

Los Angeles Times readers submitted their views in verse for a feature dedicated to opinion poetry.
Los Angeles Times readers submitted their views in verse for a feature dedicated to opinion poetry.
(Anthony Russo / For The Times )

We work for cheap, settle easily.

Like road workers or factory hands,

we stand all day, shifting from foot to foot

to stay awake, then crash on the couch,

a cold beer pressed to our lips,

dollar menu McNuggets for dinner.

We work for cheap, settle easily.

Like undocumented workers, we make less

than minimum wage, take what we can get,

keep what we have by hushing up.

We too are a booming statistic, but our names unknown

to full-time faculty and deans.

We work for cheap, settle easily.

Like our students we too believed in loan debt,

that part-time gigs would not be permanent.

Now we migrate to different schools, different jobs,

leaving the classroom for the next adjunct

willing to work for cheap, settle easily.

The author, a published poet, teaches English at Lackawanna College in Pennsylvania.

Read more: Opinion poetry by Times readers


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