Poetry Friday: Squished Squirrel Poem

June 11th, 2010

Another Friday, another poem. This one comes from Charles Fuhrken’s recent book, What Every Elementary Teacher Needs to Know About Reading Tests. Charles took this poem from Ralph Fletcher’s collection A Writing Kind of Day: Poems for Young Poets, to demonstrate some test questions and strategies in his book. But today, let’s just enjoy it for what it is!

Squished Squirrel Poem
Ralph Fletcher

I wanted to write about
a squished squirrel
I saw on the road
near my house last week.

You can’t write a poem
about a squished squirrel,
my teacher said to me.
I mean, you just can’t do it.

Pick a sunrise or an eagle
or a dolphin, he suggested.
Pick something noble
to lift the human spirit.

I tried. I really did. But I kept
coming back to that squirrel.
Did his wife send him out
to fetch some food or something?

There was blood and guts
but here’s what really got me:
he had pretty dark eyes
and they glistened still.

You can’t write a poem
about a squished squirrel,
my teacher insisted,
but I don’t think that’s true.

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary Lee  |  June 11th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I guess the moral of the story is that you write about what stays with you…

  • 2. Kelly Polark  |  June 12th, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    By golly, you CAN write a poem about a squished squirrel and anything else that you want to! 🙂

  • 3. Darcy Moore  |  June 13th, 2010 at 5:01 am

    Absolutely magnificent and captures, like a mugshot, the everyday tragedy of life. The lines, ‘…he had pretty dark eyes
    and they glistened still..’ are more evocative than many words written about things noble and spirits great.

  • 4. Slice of Life: Family Wri&hellip  |  February 10th, 2015 at 6:26 am

    […] and meaningful to them. To demonstrate that this could be anything, I shared Ralph Fletcher’s “Squished Squirrel Poem.” I had suggested that people bring photos of family vacations or other memorable events to get […]

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