Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Not all poems have a message, but I think this one does. I've had fun asking kids what that message might be (with the understanding that there's no one right answer).

Squished Squirrel Poem

I wanted to write about
a squished squirrel
I saw on the road
near my house last week.

You can’t write about
a squished squirrel,
my teacher said to me.
I mean, you just can’t do it.

Write about an eagle
Or a dolphin, he suggested.
Pick something noble
to lift the human spirit.

I tried, I really did. But I kept
coming back to that squished squirrel.
Did his wife send him out
to fetch some food or something?

There was blood, and guts,
But here’s what really got me:
He has pretty dark eyes
and they glistened still.

You can’t write a poem
about a squished squirrel,
my teacher insisted,
but I don’t think that’s true.

           from A Writing Kind of Day


  1. Yesterday as we worked on poetry writing, I asked what topic my students had chosen. Jacob said, "Ketchup!" I said, "I want to see a poem of 16 lines about ketchup." He did it. Then he did an illustration of a ketchup bottle. My students amaze me every day.

  2. I had forgotten this poem/book. I need to share it with kids again. I wonder who has my book???? Hmmmm...