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December Substitute

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Our substitute is strange because
he looks a lot like Santa Claus.
In fact, the moment he walked in
we thought that he was Santa’s twin.

We wouldn’t think it quite so weird,
if it were just his snowy beard.
But also he has big black boots
and wears these fuzzy bright red suits.

He’s got a rather rounded gut
that’s like a bowl of you-know-what.
And when he laughs, it’s deep and low
and sounds a lot like “Ho! Ho! Ho!”

He asks us all if we’ve been good
and sleeping when we know we should.
He talks of reindeers, sleighs, and elves
and tells us to behave ourselves.

And when it’s time for us to go
he dashes out into the snow.
But yesterday we figured out
just what our sub is all about.

We know just why he leaves so quick,
and why he’s dressed like Old Saint Nick
in hat and coat and boots and all:
He’s working evenings at the mall.

“December Substitute.” © 2005 by Kenn Nesbitt. Reprinted from When the Teacher Isn’t Looking (© 2005 by Kenn Nesbitt) with permission from Meadowbrook Press.
Source: When the Teacher Isn't Looking (2005)
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December Substitute

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  • Kenn Nesbitt was born in Berkeley, California. He grew up in Fresno and San Diego and attended National University in San Diego, where he majored in computer science.

    Nesbitt’s poetry for children is “irrepressible, unpredictable, and raucously popular,” in the words of former Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis. Nesbitt’s poems frequently deal with humorous, relatable situations that verge on the madcap. He is the author of numerous books of poetry for children, including The Armpit of Doom: Funny Poems for Kids (2013), The Ultimate Top Secret Guide to Taking Over the World (2011), The Tighty-Whitey Spider (2010), Revenge of the Lunch Ladies (2007), Santa Got Stuck in the Chimney (2006), When the Teacher Isn’t Looking: And Other Funny School Poems (2005), and The Aliens Have Landed at Our School! (2001), among others. In addition to writing books, Nesbitt has also written lyrics for the group Eric Herman and the...

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