Mama, Did You Make a Hat?


When I was six my mama said
She’d pay me for each ten
Flies I got alive or dead
A penny.

So I wandered room to room
Swatter cocked to kill….

Listening for the tell-tale buzz
Of a fly on a windowsill.


Whap! Would go the swatter.
Splat! Another fly.
Whappity-wahappity, WHAP! SPLAT! WHAP!
Die. Die. Die.

Soon the hunt was over.
Not a fly remained.
The windowsills were dotted black;
the swatter smeared and stained.

I collected all the bodies
To see what death would bring:
Mama paid me seventeen cents
(and some were only wings!).

Today at school we learned about
How baby seals die:

“Mama, did you make a hat
Out of all those flies?”