Famous Children Poem

When children don’t want to do something, they come up with every excuse they can think of to get out of it. There are many kinds of sicknesses children try to convince their parents they have been afflicted with in order to get out of going to school. The character in this poem seems to have come down with every possible illness, but what happens when she realizes it’s not a school day? Shel Silverstein crafts a poem that will resonate with children and adults alike.

Featured Shared Story

This poem is THE BEST! It's my all-time favorite poem, not only by Shel Silverstein, but above all the poems I've read! Shel Silverstein is the funniest, and this poem is hilarious! I totally...

Read complete story

Share your story!



“I cannot go to school today,"
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more--that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut--my eyes are blue--
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke--
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb.
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my voice is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is--what?
What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is. . .Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!”

more Shel Silverstein



  • Stories 11
  • Shares 26913
  • Favorited 32
  • Votes 3141
  • Rating 4.43
  • Poem of the Week
Has this poem touched you? Share your story!
  • by CAROLE Joan Savage Moore
  • 2 weeks ago

After feeling a bit low and sorry for myself, this poem had me falling about laughing - what a tonic, much better than a visit to the doctor.

  • by Micah G. Tudor
  • 7 months ago

This poem is THE BEST! It's my all-time favorite poem, not only by Shel Silverstein, but above all the poems I've read! Shel Silverstein is the funniest, and this poem is hilarious! I totally admire Shel Silverstein, and he is my role model as far as poets go. I love this poem!

  • by Inkdemongirl
  • 8 months ago

I loved this poem. It also helps the parents to figure out if their child is really sick or pretending. Poor children.

  • by Anna Smiths
  • 10 months ago

I like this. This poet is a genius. It could be a song or recited, which is not common much in poems. It is funny and sooooo relatable!

  • by Nils
  • 10 months ago

I love the poem "Sick." I had to memorize it for my audition for my school plays!

  • by Tank Wang
  • 11 months ago

This is just like me! I do not want to go to school, and I pretend I am sick. When my mom tells me it is Saturday, I go out and play.

  • by Yanti
  • 1 year ago

Hi, I just want to share this lovely poetry with my students. Thanks.

  • by Jac Judy A. Campbell, calif
  • 2 years ago

That is a cute poem! Sounds just like the silliness children try to pull. My children would try, then they would remember if they were sick they had to stay in bed all day, no television, no phone, drinking lots of water.

  • by Sarah Conberg
  • 1 year ago

I have a first grader, but she has never tried to pull this off.

  • by Jo A. Sparkes
  • 2 years ago

Highly amusing and has a good rhythm as well. Just like a child, actually!

  • by Daniella Maddi
  • 2 years ago

My children always say this sort of stuff! Then I correct them by saying it's Saturday.

Back to Top