Bad advice poem

with thanks to Scott McCloskey, today’s Open Write host on Ethical ELA. Scott says there are plenty of poems offering advice, but few offering bad advice… today we set about rectifying that shortage…

How to Manage a Skeleton

When sitting with a skeleton
it is best to remind him (?)
it is his own fault
he has no flesh

unless, of course,
you fail to recognize
a skeleton in the first place
(it’s possible
even probable
despite the garish array
of teeth
and the empty sockets
and all those ribs
gleaming white)

you might go so far
as to remind the skeleton
to keep a stiff upper lip
(although ‘twill do
little good
when one
has no lips
no more)

better yet to focus
all your time, energy,
and efforts with the skeleton
in pointing out the priority
of having a backbone
over having a heart

by all means,
continue extracting
your pound of flesh
ignoring, of course,
the feeble rattling
of wind whistling
through the bones
—this does not matter
in the slightest
when the spirit
is long gone.

Reading Skeleton. leted. CC BY-NC 2.0.

3 thoughts on “Bad advice poem

  1. This poem is FASCINATING on so many levels. It makes me wonder what my fifth graders would do with it, if they could get their hands on it, How many of the subtleties would they pick up on? (“Easter eggs,” in fan lingo). You see where I’m going with this, don’t you?

    Either way. I might share it with my kiddos and let you know how it goes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So glad you like this, Lainie – took me a bit to get going, but once I did, it was great fun (mostly!). Yeeeaaahhh… lots of layers to play with. I’d love to hear what the kids make of it or find in it – by all means share, if you like! “Easter eggs” – too perfect!!


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