The Postdoc and the Professor

The lamp was shining on the desk,
Shining with all its might:
The Postdoc did their best to make
The sentences read right –
This could seem odd because it was
The middle of the night.

The lab was quiet as could be,
The office without a sound.
You could not hear a peep, except
The sampler spinning round:
No conversations could be heard –
No students were around.

The Postdoc and the Professor
Were working close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
The quantities of grading planned:
“If this were only cleared away”,
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven staff with seven pens
Graded for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Postdoc said
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Professor
And shed a bitter tear.

“The time has come,” the Prof she said,
“To talk of other things:
Of papers – grants – and funding apps –
Of seminars – and things –
And if you please reviewer three –
You’ll think that pigs have wings.”

“It seems a shame”, the Postdoc said,
“To play such an evil trick,
After such hard work, analysis
And writing up so quick!”
The Professor said nothing but
“To publish is a trick!”

“The essays,” said the Professor
“We’ve avoided every one!
Shall we now get on with it?”
But answer came there none –
And this was scarcely odd, because,
The Postdoc did a run.