Sunday, March 04, 2007

PTSW : Owl Pellets

This is the first time I've posted A Poem to Start the Week that I haven't used in my own classroom. I discovered this poem thanks to the Poetry for Children web log. Since both owl pellet dissection and love occur in my classroom annually, I wonder if I could use this poem! Better suited for older students, I guess, but ain't it great?

Owl Pellets

A month ago
in biology lab
you sat close to me
knee touching mine
your sweet smell
almost drowning out
the formaldehyde stink
which crinkled up
your nose
while i dissected a fetal pig.

Now I take apart
this owl pellet
small bag that holds
skin and hair and bones
little skeletons
what the owl ate
but couldn’t digest
and coughed back up

You sit with Jon Fox
ignore me completely
laugh at his dumb jokes
let your head fall onto
his bony shoulder
while i attempt
to piece together
with trembling hands
the tiny bones
of a baby snake

Certain things
are just about
to swallow.

By Ralph Fletcher
From I Am Wings: Poems about Love

Now go dissect an owl pellet of your own, virtually: The Virtual Owl Pellet Dissection Page.

The series of posts, A Poem to Start the Week, is my little anthology of poetry, most of which I have used with my students in elementary schools during 27 years of teaching.

Previous Poems to Start the Week:

Mummy Slept Late
Just My Size
The Kindest Things I Know
Miles to Go
Love that Brother
Oh, Frabjous Day!

Other Posts about Children's Literature:

The Lion's Paw top kid's OOP book!
Aslan is Dead!
Multiplying People, Rice, and Readers
A Teacher's Life

You can read some of my own efforts at poetry here.

A weblog dedicated to Poetry for Children.
Watch Sonja Cole's reviews of children's books at

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