Science Homework

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From the book Revenge of the Lunch Ladies

Science Homework

I hope that you believe me
for I wouldn’t tell a lie.
I cannot turn my science homework in
and this is why:

I messed up the assignment
that you gave us yesterday.
It burbled from its test tube
and went slithering away.

It wriggled off the table
and it landed with a splat,
convulsed across my bedroom floor
and terrorized the cat.

It shambled down the staircase
with a horrid glorping noise.
It wobbled to the family room
and gobbled all my toys.

It tumbled to the kitchen
and digested every plate.
That slimy blob enlarged
with every item that it ate.

It writhed around the living room
digesting lamps and chairs,
then snuck up on our napping dog
and caught him unawares.

I came to school upset today.
My head’s in such a fog.
But this is my excuse:
You see, my homework ate my dog.

 — Kenn Nesbitt

Copyright © 2007. All Rights Reserved.

Reading Level: Grade 4

Topics: Monster Poems, School Poems, Science and Technology Poems

Poetic Techniques: Hyperbole, Imagery, Narrative Poems, Onomatopoeia


About This Poem

From my book Revenge of the Lunch Ladies, this is either a story of a science experiment gone very, very wrong, or it is an elaborate excuse for not turning in your homework. Or possibly both.

It is also a long way to go for a groaner of an ending, but I had so much fun writing it that I just couldn't help myself.

Lastly, this is also a good example of using onomatopoeia—words that sound like the actions they describe—in a poem. Words like "burble," "slither," and "gobble" all evoke sounds as well as visual descriptions. I used these intentionally to heighten the sensory impact of the poem and make it more engaging. I hope you enjoy it.

From the Book Revenge of the Lunch Ladies

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