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.