by Neal Levin
There’s day-old tuna, almost new,
Some Tupperware with potluck stew,
Some leftover spaghetti sauce,
And wilted salad, partly tossed.
There’s also Jell-o, sort of green,
A chunk of cheese, a lima bean,
A jar of pickles, can of soup,
And something best described as goop.
There’s broccoli that’s growing old,
A loaf of bread that’s growing mold…
The ‘frigerator’s full, but hey –
There’s nothing that I want today.
Copyright © 2004 Neal Levin. From the book Rolling in the Aisles. Meadowbrook Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.
“Afterschool Snack” was a fun poem to write because it gave me a chance to come up with creative ways of describing food. There are endless possibilities of food that could be found in a refrigerator, and the types of things that have been there for a long time can be described in unusual and funny ways (like “bread that’s growing mold”).
This kind of poem is known as a list poem, because it’s basically a list of items, like things you might put on a grocery list (although some of the food in this poem is not what you’d actually want to buy in a grocery store). Try writing your own list poem by thinking of a topic and brainstorming as many things as possible that are related. Then you can pick out the best ideas or the ones that fit nicely with your rhythm and rhyme schemes. Of course, not all poems have to rhyme or even have a certain rhythm. It’s just as important to have fun and be able to express yourself.
Neal Levin is a freelance children’s writer and illustrator. His poems have been published in a dozen anthologies, including Rolling In the Aisles (Meadowbrook Press), Think Positive For Kids (Chicken Soup For the Soul Publishing), and Poems To Learn by Heart (Disney/Hyperion). He has also written both poetry and fiction for several national magazines ranging from Highlights For Children to The Saturday Evening Post. For his day job, Neal teaches cartooning workshops for kids in southeastern Michigan. To find out more, visit his website at: www.neallevin.com