When Helen Sparrow’s fifth grade English teacher told her class to write odes as part of a creative writing unit, the put-upon tween wasn’t content to wax poetic about her mom or honeybees. Instead, she went the John Keats route and wrote a touching ode to pain.
Pain, you knock me down
A million times over
And your wicked fingers plug my tears
So crying is an effort in vain as you stab me eternally.
I writhe and wince as I lie;
The haze of death blows ‘round me.
Seeing double, aching all over;
Doom is inevitable; I can’t go on!
My throat is so sore, coated with deadly phlegm.
Escape is impossible, with seemingly no cure.
And this disease, the most horrid of them all,
Is one you cannot be immune to, but must forever see.
Pain, you are an evil beast,
Killing us all off.
You’ve taken my life ten thousand times;
Who will you slaughter next?