Why Don’t I Know?

23 December 2004

Why Don’t I Know?

I don’t know why the caged bird sings.
I don’t know who the lord of the flies is.
I don’t know where Waldo’s at.

Was my childhood not long enough?

I don’t know how to eat fried worms.
I don’t know what the view from the cherry tree looks like.
I don’t know when the wrinkle in time is.

Did my summers pass too fast?

I don’t know how the handmaid’s tale goes.
I don’t know what makes bumps in the night.
I don’t know how the light in the attic got left on.

Why don’t I know what I don’t know?

Background

The idea for this poem came while I was looking over the banned books list. All the titles that appear above belong to books that have, at one time or another, been banned by people who don’t know any better. They are:

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  • Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford
  • How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  • The View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  • Bumps in the Night by Ann Rockwell
  • A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein

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