Abash, Abate, abet, abstemious . . .
And so began our first-form vocab list,
Which made us all awhile put up a fuss
That Mr. Harlow cruelly would insist
Upon our learning ten new words a week
While still remembering all of those before—
Prompting us to rebel in such a pique*
We took our case to the headmaster’s door.
Somehow he mollified our wrath, and we
Complied with that outrageous regimen,
Not knowing yet its profitability
For all occasions when we’d wield a pen:
The SAT was not the least of these,
Plus all our essays earning A’s and B’s.
*(No doubt a word we'd learned one wordlist week)