Teen Poetry Collections

All the Animals I Will Be

by a young woman, age 11

If I were a dog,
I’d play all day with my master—
Soccer, fetch, chase my tail, tug-o-war,
Lie down at the cozy fireplace
Guard the house,
Take care of my owners’ children.
Chase the cat
Chase the squirrels up a tree.

If I were a lamb,
I would suckle
And play with my mother
In the green grassy field
With a fence around it
So we could all feel safe.
The shepherd takes care of the lambs
And chases the wild dogs away.

If I were a kitten,
I would be a Siamese
With a blue collar and a silver bell.
I’d wear the bell, so they could find me
Wherever I am, so I can feel safe.
I can hear my mom calling me.
Sometimes she says, “It’s dinner time.”
Or, “Don’t go there. That’s the woods,
There are dangerous animals in there.”

If I were a piglet
My skin would be the pinkest pink
You would find,
As bristly as steel wool.
I’m the runt. But I know I can live.                                                                                       
I push my brothers and sisters
Out of the way with my nose
And my little head
So that I can be the first one to eat
And drink my mother’s milk.
What do you know?
Now I’m the strongest and cutest
Pig in the litter.

If I were a wolf pup,
I would be as little as a penguin chick
When I am born.
Now that I am born, it is time to explore
The world—leave the den and sniff around.
“No,” my mother said. “You have to stay in the den,”
As cozy as a log cabin,
Warm as one or two fleece blankets.
“And there are dangerous predators around.”
“But mom, I am as curious as a raccoon—
I want to explore!”
“It’s time to settle down in the cozy den,”
The whispery wind rocking you
Gently to sleep.