By J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942
It was such a lovely day
Till I stumbled in the way
Of a van that carries vinegar to stores.
When I glared up at the man—
Operator of the van—
He said, “Vinegar, it never rains but pours!”

Now a skunk was standing by.
And I thought that I would cry
From the vinegar that sprayed and soaked my clothes,
When the driver kindly yells,
“Watch that animal. It smells!”—
And the skunk ran off, a hankie to her nose.

J. Patrick Lewis, "Vinegar". Copyright © 2011 by J. Patrick Lewis. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Brown, Ltd.

Discover this poem’s context and related poetry, articles, and media.

Poet J. Patrick Lewis b. 1942

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Subjects Nature, Animals

 J. Patrick Lewis


Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis grew up in Gary, Indiana and earned a BA at Saint Joseph’s College, an MA at Indiana University, and a PhD in economics at the Ohio State University. Lewis taught in the department of Business, Accounting and Economics at Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, until 1998 when he became a full-time writer.

Lewis is the author of more than fifty books of poetry for children, which . . .

Continue reading this biography

Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Nature, Animals

POET’S REGION U.S., Midwestern

Report a problem with this poem

Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

This poem has learning resources.

This poem is good for children.

This poem has related video.

This poem has related audio.