A possum got inside the house.
I thought it was a giant mouse.
It ran and hid beneath the bed
And then pretended he was dead.
I waited by the bedroom door.
The possum ran across the floor.
Possums look a lot like rats,
Except they are the size of cats.
With fifty teeth inside a snout,
It’s always best to let them out.
Copyright © 2004 Charles Ghigna. From the book Animal Tracks: Wild Poems to Read Aloud. Published by Harry N. Abrams. Reprinted by permission of the author.
For activities and lesson plans for this poem and other poems in Animal Tracks and Animal Trunk, please click here to visit Quest Garden.
Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) is an award-winning poet, children’s author, speaker, and nationally syndicated feature writer who helps promote the love of poetry and children’s literature throughout the world. He is the author of more than 5,000 poems and 60 books from Random House, Disney, Hyperion, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, Abrams, Boyds Mills, Charlesbridge, Capstone and other publishers. His books have been featured on ABC-TV’s “Good Morning America,” PBS and NPR. His poems appear in hundreds of textbooks and anthologies, and in magazines for adults and children from The New Yorker and Harper’s to Highlights and Cricket. His poems also appear in the national SAT and ACT tests.
Ghigna served as poetry editor of The English Journal for the National Council of Teachers of English, editorial advisor for the U.S. Kids magazines, and nationally syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services. He is the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and the Mary Roberts Rinehart Foundation. He has presented poetry readings at the Library of Congress, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the American Library in Paris, the International Schools of South America, and at hundreds of schools, colleges, conferences, libraries, book fairs, and literary events throughout the U.S. and overseas.
Love this poem, Charles. An old boyfriend of mine once had an opossum in his apartment. He thought it was a big rat. He threw his vacuum cleaner at it.
I’m loving this poetryminute series!
Thanks, B.J. Possum-oldboyfriend-rat. Definitely a poem in that. Throw in the flying vacuum cleaner and you have a memorable poem about a memorable OH-possum moment.
We have possums in our neighborhood in Seattle, too, Charles! Loved this poem (and loved B.J.’s flying vacuum cleaner….)
Hi Julie. Possums in Seattle! Thanks for the heads-up. My daughter, Julie, and her family recently moved to Mercer Island. It’ll be fun searching for those marsupial critters with my grandson next time we’re up there island hoping.