Edmund Conti

Wholly Holly

Holly B. Hallaby is tall for her height
But Holly behaves like everyone might
If everyone’s head was screwed on tight.
Hallaby doesn’t throw pencils in class,
Look out the window or spit in her glass
Or fail to go to bed early at night.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on tight.

Hallaby doesn’t play catch with the cat
Or tell her big sister she’s getting too fat
Or tell her friends stories worse even than that.
Holly B. Hallaby cleans up her room
Returning to Mother the mop and the broom
Never sneaks up from behind with a “BOOM!”
Giving her poor little brother a fright.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on right.

Now, Millicent Morton is not very nice
She’s not made of sugar, she’s not made of spice
She’s made up of meanness and often is rude.
Her head is in danger of coming unscrewed.

While Anthony Ackerly isn’t afraid
Of any big boy in the whole second grade
But Anthony happens to be in grade four.
Anthony’s head should be screwed on some more.

Our Holly belongs with the best of the bunch
She doesn’t throw food when she’s eating her lunch
She doesn’t throw tantrums and won’t throw a punch.
She isn’t too dainty—she likes to climb trees
She doesn’t say ‘gimme,’ she always says ‘please’
She works very hard for her A’s and her B’s.
She sleeps in her room without any light.
Hallaby’s head is screwed on right.

Edmund Conti has been writing poems for about 70 years and has published 500 or so poems in the usual and unusual places. He has been a featured poet on Light Quarterly and won the first Willard Espy Poetry Prize in 2001. He has two recent poetry books from Kelsay Books–Just So You Know and That Shakespeherean Rag.