What to Wear Where

by J. Patrick Lewis

The Bookworm's Feast by J. Patrick LewisWhen I was a boy
In Looziana,
We wore blue jeans
And a red bandanna.

My folks moved up
To the state of Maine,
We wore duck shoes
In slicker-suit rain.

My folks moved down
To the state of Texas,
We wore brand names
Like Lazy X’s.

Now that we’re living
It up in Vermont,
We wear pretty much
Whatever we want.

Copyright © 1999 J. Patrick Lewis. From The Bookworm’s Feast. Dial Books for Young Readers. Reprinted by permission of the author.

About this Poem

“What to Wear Where” was one of my early poems, loosely inspired by people-watching at a mall food court. I was supposed to be home preparing an economics lecture, but the opportunity to view humanity up close won out. Any offense to the named states is unintentional.

About The Author

Former Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick LewisJ. Patrick Lewis’s book of poems—Gulls Hold Up the Sky—was published in October 2010 by Laughing Fire Press. His adult poems have appeared in Gettysburg Review, New England Review, New Letters, Southern Humanities Review, new renaissance, Kansas Quarterly, Fine Madness, over 130 poems in Light Quarterly, and many others.

In May 2011 the Poetry Foundation named him the third U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate (2011-2013). He has published eighty-five children’s picture/poetry books to date with Creative Editions, Knopf, Atheneum, Dial, Harcourt, Little, Brown, National Geographic, Chronicle, Holiday House, Scholastic, and others.

He has made over 530 school visits here and abroad. He also keynotes at conferences. His website is: www.jpatricklewis.com

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