Bored Poem

“Bored Poem,” written by Nathaniel from Bluebonnet Trail Elementary in Manor ISD, is infamous.  In all the best ways.  When our Education Programs coordinator, Jess Stoner, sent it along to her writer-friends, they clamored at the opportunity to respond to it in a myriad of ways.  Today, we’re featuring an audio recording of Nathaniel’s poem by Eugene Cross, the award-winning fiction writer (and fan of tacos?).

Bored Poem

Taco taco taco taco taco taco
taco taco taco taco taco taco
taco taco taco taco taco taco
said the taco to the Devil Taco
from the Taco Bell that is by the Walmart
that is in a mall that is very boring
to lots of people. And I am the only one
in my family that cares. The place is very boring.
And I said to my family that they are boring
too, ’cus they never go outside. But Taco
just likes to stab all the other tacos,
especially the Devil Taco, because he’s gangster
and was always very mad, and standing there
bored out of his taco-mind, bored with his brother
with his burrito-breath and his nasty teeth,
and bored too with his own self, his t-shirt
you know the one with the air-brushed wolf on it.

Nathaniel, fourth grade, Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School

*This poem was also featured at The Good Men Project.


NATHANIEL is a fourth grader at Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School.

EUGENE CROSS is the author of the short story collection Fires of Our Choosing (our now from Dzanc). He was born and raised in Erie, Pennsylvania, and received an MFA from the University of Pittsburgh. His stories have appeared in Narrative magazine (which named him one of “20 Best New Writers” and his story “Harvesters” a “Top Five Story of 2009–2010”), American Short Fiction, Story Quarterly, TriQuarterly, and Callaloo, among other publications. His work was also listed among the 2010 Best American Short Stories’ 100 Distinguished Stories. He is the recipient of scholarships from the Chautauqua Writers’ Festival and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, and the winner of the 2009 Dzanc Prize for Excellence in Literary Fiction and Community Service. He currently lives in Chicago where he teaches in the Fiction Department at Columbia College Chicago. You can find him online at


Parent Leaving

TGIF! In celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s a poem by Ashton, a fourth grader in Ms. Rich’s class at Pioneer Crossing Elementary. Ashton writes a powerful and brilliant poem that tackles the difficult subject of losing a parent.

Parent Leaving

It will
be hard for
your parent to
leave. It will
take you a
long time to
see them.
You won’t see
them every
day. So that
is why I
think they
should stay
with their
families and so
that is why
it is not
fair that
they should
leave their
families and
they will not
do something
to let
them leave
all the

 Ashton, fourth grade, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School


In celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s a poem by Owen, a fourth grader in Ms. Rodriguez’s class at Blackshear Elementary. Owen’s poem reminds us of some modernist literature—as he focuses on a feeling of alienation, despite being in a world full of people. He is acutely aware of his surroundings, highlighting details  that are normally overlooked.

The Day I Was Alone

The color of the sand is green, white, and red.
The texture is rough as a shell.
It is shaped like a football field,
as big as New York City,
as tall as the biggest building in the world.
And the thing that says not to pass
to the rock and sand
is cold.
This place feels cold and scary.
And the cars look lonely and haunted.
The light, if you touch it, feels
hot, and it will burn you to death.

Owen, fourth grade, Blackshear Elementary School


Another day in National Poetry Month means another poem! The poem “Wonder,” by Jordyn, a fourth grader at Pioneer Crossing Elementary, was another finalist for Badgerdog’s Spring Poem Contest.  Jordyn personifies earth in her poem, wondering if it minds children playing on its surface or if it speaks to the birds chirping.  Her beautiful poem reminds us to think about our effects on earth, whether they be big or small, and to keep its unique wonder alive.


As me and my friends run
and play around, I wonder,
does the earth mind that we’re
running on his green hair or playing
hopscotch on his concrete scalp?
As I hear the children
on the playground screaming,
the birds chirping, and the cool spring
breeze, I wonder, is this how the earth
and birds talk to each other? And is the
children screaming interrupting them?
Oh I wonder, I wonder.

Jordyn, fourth grade, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School

What Is the Color Gold? For National Poetry Month

To continue our celebration of National Poetry Month, here’s a poem from Amy, a fourth grader in Ms. Rich’s class at Pioneer Crossing Elementary.

What Is the Color Gold?

Gold is the color of a bright bird.
If you hear its beautiful chirp,
you will go to the hill and watch the sunset.
You will soon get sleepy
and doze off.
When you wake up the next morning,
you’re in your home.
You won’t see anything from your strange
journey, but you will find a gold key
in your coat pocket.
Three years later,
once you are seventeen,
you find that it is the key to
your love. When you’re older,
you know to move on,
and you get that special person
the most important thing to her—a ring.
Amy, fourth grade, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School

Love and Thunderstorms

Carolina, a fourth grade student from Bluebonnet Trail Elementary, reminds us of the unique qualities of time, in her poem, “Love Poem to Time.” Carolina personifies time, which has the ability to provoke the deepest sentiments within us.  She also acknowledges how valuable time is to every person, whether they are stranded on an island, fighting to survive; or whether they are risking their lives to protect and care for their family. Her poem inspires us to love the time we have, and to appreciate  everything we do.

Love Poem to Time

Time, what a never-ending story.
If someone were to write it all down,
you probably wouldn’t be able to read
even five chapters. Some dull, some exciting,
happy, graceful, astonishing, sad,
and some depressing.
But know this,
they are all human stories, like the old,
white-haired woman who walked
to the Amazon on foot. Or the man
who survived four years alone on an island.
Or the man who loves his family so much
he risks his life just to get them fed.

Carolina, fourth grade, Bluebonnet Trail Elementary School


There is a distinctive feeling one gets when a thunderstorm strikes. Cheyenne, a fourth grade student from Mr. Alaniz’s class at Pickle Elementary, seems to feel fear and curiosity at the same time.  She parallels the storm with the sound of a woman screeching and the horrifying image of a cat scratching the sky.  Yet despite the terror the storm produces, Cheyenne opens her window and allows the rain to take hold of her senses and wipe away her fear.

The Thunderstorm

I was on my bed listening to the thunder;
it sounded like a woman screaming.
I opened my window and I could smell the rainwater.
It smelled like the saltwater.
I put my hand out
and it felt like a waterfall hitting my arm.
The lightning looked like a cat scratching the sky.

Cheyenne, fourth grade, Pickle Elementary School


Good Luck in This Year of the Dragon

People born in the year of the dragon are thought to be brave, innovative, and driven. In Chinese mythology, the dragon is legendary: it is powerful, majestic, and revered.  And so we begin this new lunar year with the finalists of our New Years’ poem contest, who show us how we can approach the coming months: with the power of forgiveness, with our majestic senses, and a reverence, as always, for hope.

New Year’s Forgiveness

It’s a cool windy midnight
as my dad pops open the
sparkling apple juice. I
think: should I let all
of my arguments go
and forgive?

Should I just ignore
them forever? Or maybe I’ll
just apologize for the
arguments I started.
As I drink I decide right
when school starts things are
going to change

Jordyn, Ms. Rich’s fourth grade class, Pioneer Crossing Elementary School (Manor)

What Time Is It

I am a clock. I am a very big clock.
I am in the town.
I hear people yelling, bell ringing,
gold bell,
red, blue, purple fireworks.
I feel big.

I hope I can change time.

Carlos, Professor Esbrand’s fourth grade class, Oak Springs Elementary School (Austin)