Miss Corrected: A Cautionary Poem

There once was a girl named Kathleen

Who felt that she was the queen

Of all pronunciation, spelling and diction

And quite frankly, any fact to be seen.

Whether classmates or teachers

Parents or lowly creatures

It mattered not who she thought was wrong

(And in her mind the mistakes came in throngs).

Kathleen stood ready to detect

Any slip or misfeature

And invariably would cause herself harm.

Day in and day out

Her peers tolerated her bouts

Of mis-correction

And arrogant shouts.

They listened and listened

Without thought or misgiving

Never getting the nerve

To do more than observe

Her terribly wrong correcting:

“Ms. James, I give you pity

for you see, Germany is a city

and not at all this country which you claim.”

“The founders wrote the Constipation

when they were forming this great nation,

and a frog is a type of a swamp,

not this thing whose legs the French chomp.”

“The true meaning of a book

is a team not a theme

as I’m sure you’ll agree if you look.

This went on for a while

Until the quiet kid Kyle

Knew deep down that enough was enough.

So he made up his mind

The next time that she cried that

“This thing is that thing and that thing is this”

it would be up to him alone to call her bluff.

So it was the very next day

As he placed his homework in the tray

That he heard dear Kathleen

Being awfully mean,

“Yes, you should be e-w-e.”

she was, as always, quite keen

on catching all “those mistakes.”

Kyle threw his hands high

And opened up wide

For he knew he had a lot to say:

“Germany…a city?

You’ve got to be kidding me?

And constipation is an irritable condition.

A BOG is a swamp and a frog’s legs ARE chomped, when fried in hot oil in a pan.

A TEAM is a group and THEME of the book is the right thing to say everyday.

YOU is indeed Y-O-U for a EWE is a grown-up girl sheep!

So, Kathleen could..you…please….THINK before you speak

And stop making us all feel so dumb…

Because You are the one who was wrong all along

And could someone please get this girl a book?

Of spelling and phrases

Of rhymes and of sayings

Of history and cooking and art,

Of reading and writing

Fancy sewing and doodling

Everything, anything and all.

Look, we all make mistakes

But this is more than we can take.

So just stop this and put on the brakes.

Kathleen stared at the floor

And then at the door

As if she very much liked to run.

But instead she sat still

And found herself quite ill

At the spectacle she’d made all those days.

“I…I’m sorry.” She stammered

That I forgot all my manners…

You see once upon a time I felt dumb,

But when I started correcting and, stopped respecting

I actually felt better in turn.

“Kathleen, listen to the truth

we are still in our youth

and all will mess up from time to time

you are certainly not dumb

so let’s have a truce

and put these crimes far behind.

Long after that day, Kathleen would always still cringe

When she thought she detected someone riding the fringe

Of correctness and rightness and the way it should be,

But she would think of quiet Kyle, would hold her tongue…

And would smile…

For “Thinking before speaking”





2 thoughts on “Miss Corrected: A Cautionary Poem

  1. You need to find an illustrator and have this published…I actually see the pictures in my head! It’s a shame I can’t draw! Too cute!

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