Reading Level: Grade 9

Poems suitable for reading by 14-15 year olds.

World’s Hardest Test

Preparing today for the standardized test
our teacher said there was a lot to digest.
We’d have to divide by the square root of three
and learn to spell zygote, façade and marquis.

We’d need to play xylophone, trumpet and flute,
accordion, banjo, piano and lute,
recite all the capital cities by heart
and learn to take rocketship engines apart.

We’d have to speak Latin, Swahili and Greek,
learn nuclear fusion and fencing technique,
remember the fables of Persia and Rome
and crack all the codes in the human genome.

Then just when we thought that our heads might explode
from learning Chinese or dissecting a toad
she told us the very best thing she could say:
that she was just kidding; it’s April Fool’s Day.

Big Lunch

I started arranging my alphabet soup,
concocting big words to devour.
I swallowed a B U I L D I N G,
I gobbled a S T R E E T,
and then I ingested a T O W E R.

I snacked on a S U B W A Y,
I bolted a B U S,
I wolfed down a P A S S E N G E R T R A I N,
I chewed up M O N T A N A,
I gulped I N D I A N A,
then tossed down the whole S T A T E O F M A I N E.

I ate the G R A N D C A N Y O N,
I lunched on the R O C K I E S,
and A S I A, I slurped from my cup.
I would have been fine,
but I started to dine
on M Y H O M E W O R K
and then I threw up.