Saturday, February 16, 2013


       Abash, abate, abet, abstemious
       And so began our first-form list of words
       That Mr. Harlow made (despite our fuss)
       Us memorize to turn us into nerds—
       Or so we felt (though that word hadn’t yet
       Appeared in lexicons), and every week
       Our Monday quiz encompassed the whole set:
       Abash, abate, abet right at the peak.
       No wonder I remember, decades on
       (Just like amo, amas, amat, amamus, too),
       What was imprinted well and hasn’t gone
       The way so many other memories do.
           Abash, abate, abet, abstemious!
            We cheer you, Mr. H, the lot of us.