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Confession

by Bruce Lansky
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Confession by Bruce Lansky

I have a brief confession
that I would like to make.
If I don’t get it off my chest
I’m sure my heart will break.

I didn’t do my reading.
I watched TV instead—
while munching cookies, cakes, and chips
and cinnamon raisin bread.

I didn’t wash the dishes.
I didn’t clean the mess.
Now there are roaches eating crumbs—
a million, more or less.

I didn’t turn the TV off.
I didn’t shut the light.
Just think of all the energy
I wasted through the night.

I feel so very guilty.
I did a lousy job.
I hope my students don’t find out
that I am such a slob.

  — Bruce Lansky

Copyright © 2003. All Rights Reserved. From My Dog Ate My Homework. Running Press. Reprinted by permission of the author.

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About this Poem

In the process of visiting more than 650 schools, I’ve often heard comments from teachers to the effect that when they meet in supermarkets, gas stations, or health clubs, students have trouble believing that their teachers shop, fill up their cars or exercise like other adults. So if students think teachers don’t live normal lives, it strikes me as probably that students would never be able to imagine how much “homework” teachers have to do (writing lesson plans, creating and correcting tests, grading students, etc.) and how much teachers wish they could kick back and watch TV or go bowling instead of doing all that work. This poem introduces kids to what really goes on when teachers go home and have some “reading” they need to do for school. (Some of my favorite poems inform students about things they may not have known—like “Confession.”)

From My Dog Ate My Homework

My Dog Ate My Homework is the first collection of Bruce Lansky’s own poetry. This book helped make Lansky’s reputation as a consistently entertaining poet with a unique voice and style. His poems are about someone named “I” or “me” who so resembles the readers, their siblings, friends, parents, pets, and teachers – they think Lansky is writing about them.

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About the Author

Bruce Lansky was first called “the King of Giggle Poetry” by the students of a school in North Miami Beach, Florida whose teacher “kidnapped” Lansky and forced him to perform at her school at needle point. The title refers to Lansky’s third poetry book: A Bad Case of the Giggles. Altogether he has written or edited 20 humorous poetry and song books which have sold about 4 million copies. He visits schools, because he loves hanging out with kids (unfortunately, his grandchildren live in Sweden, so he only sees them once a year).

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