Word Nerd Undeterred


Four 4th grade girls stand around, bored. I grab a board game out of the recreation wagon. “Here, play this, it’s super fun!”

They break into teams. Each has a pencil and paper. They shake the word box more violently than necessary.

“FUM!” Yells one girl with glee.


“Fum” is not a word!

Yes it is! Fee-Fi-Fo-FUM!


Mrs. Wipff, could you look up fum? Is it a word?

I look it up. “Well, according to Wikipedia, it IS a word: Fum is a traditional Catalan Christmas carol.”

The group disbands shortly after that.

Too many words. Kind of boring.

Boggle is the bomb! How can they call it boring? Maybe I’m just a word nerd.


Ambition Bird

so it has come to this

insomnia at 3:15am

the clock tolling its engine

like a frog following a sundial

having an electric

seizure at the quarter hour

the business of words keeps me awake

i drink hot cocoa

that warm brown mama

i would like a  simple life

all night i lay

poems in a long box

it is my immortality box

my lay-away plan

my coffin

dark wings

flap in my heart

each an ambition bird