Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Very Rare Poem

      I've never been into reading poetry, other than Dr. Seuss and Shel Silverstein when I was a kid.  Not surprisingly, then, with extremely rare exceptions, I also didn't write it--I've always been more of a prose kind of guy.  But today I was going through some old things, and remembered about one of the few poems that I did write, back in 6th grade.  I can't recall exactly, but I suspect we were all probably forced to write one, rather than it being voluntary.  Whatever the setup, they chose the best ones for each grade (this was middle school, so grades 6-8) and the winners read them in an assembly, or as it was titled, "The Eighth Annual Poetry Festival."  Shockingly, my entry took second place (it was a small school, bear in mind.)  So here it is.

                                    One thing that isn't very nice,
                                    Is to have a head that's full of lice.
                                    A shower or bath will not kill,
                                    'Cause swimming they consider a thrill.
                                    A comb will sometimes get them out,
                                    But only if they're slightly stout.
                                    And if they're quite well off indeed,
                                    They might bring home more mouths to feed.
                                    It's also true that they jump well,
                                    (But only onto heads that smell.)
                                    And if they leave, you may start to cheer,
                                    But then you'll probably shed a tear.
                                    Even though that they're not there,
                                    Your head may still be the lair,
                                    Of something that is still hard to bare.
                                    For little eggs, from the louse's mom,
                                    Are as dangerous as an atom bomb!
                                    More lice!  More lice!  You're sure to yell.
                                    You know these beasts are going to dwell,
                                    On your head for a long time,
                                    And you hate them about as much as slime!
                                    A gypsy will tell you when your palm is read,
                                    A sure-fire solution----shave your head!

      Also very surprising, mine was the only poem in the whole program about parasites.  In the interest of accuracy, I should mention that the poem is wrong--lice don't jump, they crawl.  Don't remember if I just didn't know that, or if I did it to fit my rhyme scheme, or something.  And my accusation that they jump only onto "heads that smell" is unfounded, and a little snotty--lice will crawl onto any person's head, regardless of how clean or dirty they are, as countless parents have discovered.
      So there it is, one of my few, and definitely most acclaimed, poems.  The prize was a small sculpture of a lion--still have it somewhere.  But I think Shakespeare is safe.

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