When I shop for clothes

When I shop for clothes
I shop till I drop;
I shop in the store
I shop in the lot.

I shop while I drink
I shop while I fish;
If I catch a suede jacket,
I don’t throw it back in.

I shop cause I’m sad
Cause I lost my left hand
In an accident so bad
The pictures are bland.

The pictures are bland
Cause they’re mostly out of focus;
But a hundred mile an hour train-wreck
Is quite a commotion.

Now when I shop
I shop for a hand.
To replace the one I lost
Somewhere in Bhutan.

One day I will find it;
That missing part;
Then my shop will be over,
And I’ll leave the parking lot.

The Duck

When I am looking at a duck
I see its long-brimmed bill.
I say “Oh duck, it’s been so long.
They turn and drop their quills.

The ducks, you see
Write poetry;
They do it in the lake.
They scribble fast
Their minds ablaze
They rarely take a break.

Here’s a poem
From a duck
I’m not supposed to have it;
It fell from one of their writer sessions
And as it fell
I grabbed it

Cluck, cluck
Cluck cluck cluck:
Strangers in the night;
My feet are webbed
My bill is long
Fake Feed me and I’ll bite.”

And there I was…
Standing there at the dock,
Without a piece of bread;
And while I fake feed all the ducks—
This one just bit my head!

Did you ever have a bubby?

Did you ever have a Bubby?
You’d know it if you did.
She’s the one already up
Smiling as you walk in.

She’s in the kitchen
Making tea:
She uses the same bag.
She puts the yogurt In the fridge
Swearing it’s not bad.

Your bubby is the one
Who’s lived a hundred lives;
Who’s seen the world
Get very mean
But also get real nice.

Your Bubby though is dangerous
Her specialty is squeezing;
And if your cheeks are plump enough
She’ll tear them off your face.

Your bubby won’t be running
Your bubby wont be loud
Your bubby maybe right beside you
Not making a sound.

One day if you’re very lucky
You’ll become a bubby, too;
Then everyone will love you
They’ll all do things for you;

They’ll make your bed
Cook your food
Put you in a home,
Keep  you far away from them and make you feel alone;

Bubbies are not for everyone
So be one with some caution.
Our hearts needs be the size of earth
Cause everybody wants one.

When I get old

When I get old
There will be
A list for you to do;
One will be to water grass
Another to tie my shoe.

When I get old
I hope you’re young
Cause there’ll be lots to accomplish;
Like drive me to the
Making me a sandwich.

When I get old
I’ll lose my teeth
Maybe my smell, too;
I’ll lose my sight,
I’ll lose my purse;
I’ll lose my worth,
I’ll lose my house,
I’ll lose my ears,
My nose,
My head,
I wont have any
Any friends;
I’ll cry myself to bed at night,
I’ll cry until I’m dead.

When I am dead
Perhaps one day
You’ll make your own list, too.

dash dip

Dash dip
Round the bend
Wind flies
Around my head;

Children wave
Adults too
Whoops wrong way
I’m in the zoo!

Is that a tiger burning bright?
Is that a eagle taking flight?
Is that a donkey braying loud?
Is that a monkey prancing around?

Dash Dip
Round the bend
Wind Flies
Around my head;

I go up
I go down.
I ride my scooter
Around the town.

If you took time

If you took time
To count the rocks
You’d have a million trillion.
Turn them, turn them
Upside down;
We’d watch them fall
Across the mall;
Our streets would be a rocky patch
Where we would walk—not drive.

Our schools would be a mess you see
From all the dust and stone.
And no dog no dog
Could ever find their bone.

The rocks would start another school
Where they would learn to stay;

They’d study hard
Get a job

They all would get an A.

When It’s almost day

When it’s almost day
There are so many things
I have to say;
There was no peep from me at night
But I had dreamed another life.

You didn’t go to work
You went to a shower;
Hour by hour
You added some lather;
The lather got big
Out the window you went
Driving to work in not a bike but a tent.

The tent went fast
Swooshed to a stop;
All you could see was
A thousand rocks;
You never did hurry
The work was refreshing
Your family happy.

A big machine
Across the street
Makes a sound like crushing feet;
And when I look
Out my window
I see my neighbors scream.


We have no legs!
That truck ran us over!
Now we’re all dead!

That’s why you never cross the street
Don’t ever ever cross the street
Don’t even think about crossing the street
Without a parent near you.

Deer without hands

What is it, sweety?


I saw a deer.

You saw a deer?



In my room.

There was a deer in your room?

I saw a deer in my room right there.

What did the deer do?

It went down the stairs.

Did it use the railing?

No, it didn’t have hands.

The deer didn’t have hands?


Were you scared?


Did the deer say anything?

No, it left the room with it’s friends.

What friends?

There were two other people.


Over here.

There were two other people in your room?


Did they talk to you?

No. They left my room and went down the stairs.

Did they hold the railing?

No, because they didn’t have hands.

The two people didn’t have hands?

No, and they couldn’t hold the railing.

Were you scared?


Did the two people have black hair?

Blonde hair?

Were they men or women?

Did they look like me or like mommy?

They looked like you.

(And hair stands on end.)

Subways and Stairs

I wake up to cabs screeching on the road.
Words that should not be spoken by very angry drivers.
Bright and early.
Good morning, New York City.
I walk with my dad to a bakery. L'imprimerie.
I get a shot of espresso. 
Enough to jack me up on caffeine and make up for my loss of sleeping in.
We leave, and walk around for a bit. 
We talk so much that I hardly notice my agonizing feet.
We eat pizza, pretzels, and lamb.
Credit to the food stand on North 3th street.
Then, Dad and I head down to the subway and hop on.
We arrive at Central Park and wait for my mom.
She arrives at around 1:00.
I say my greeting to my brother, and we play in the park.
Meet some other kids my age. Play a little bit of baseball,
The usual.
After Mateo and I are not able to move or breathe, Mom calls a taxi.
We go into Brooklyn and go shopping.
Mateo and I beg for something that is useless and that we will forget in a day.
But she still says yes, and we have joy for a few minutes.
Until one of us starts a fight.
Couple bruises, couple sore spots.
Also the usual.
We get home, and start the treacherous journey up the 13 stair cases.
Oh goody.
We get to our apartment, and eat some dinner.
Afterwards, we watch a movie (sometimes we eat dinner while watching the movie).
We say goodnight, and I head to bed.
Another beautiful day.
I fall asleep to the honks and yells.
Goodnight New York.

Rafael Zafir (age 13).

Elan Zafir’s misemployment of the run-on sentence