Eating Words

When you know
that vore means eat,
you will know
that insectivores feed
            on grasshoppers, moths, and butterflies,
            mosquitoes, bees, and plain-old flies.

When you know
that carni means meat,
you will know
that carnivores eat
            snakes and lizards, deer and lamb,
            carrion, birds, fish, and ham.

When you know
that herb means plant,
you will know
that herbivores CAN'T
            eat anything that moves on a foot,
            just foods that spring up from a root.

When you know
that omni means all,
you will know
that omnivores call

            they can suck or chew—
            sometimes even me or you—

Katherine Hauth, "Eating Words" from What’s for Dinner. Copyright © 2011 by Katherine Hauth.  Reprinted by permission of Charlesbridge.
Source: What's For Dinner? (Charlesbridge, 2011)
More Poems by Katherine Hauth