Parenting Blog

The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys Poem

The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys

A quick bit of background here. The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys is an original poem that follows no known poetry format. Or maybe it does, I dunno. This crazy little poem should be read aloud in the style of a Dr. Seuss book. Making exaggerated arm motions is not only 100% okay, it’s encouraged and will help to ensure your kids enjoy The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys poem — because my words can only do so much. Please chip in and do your part to make this a success. K?

The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys poem is about imaginary monkeys in Philadelphia. Pretty simply, right? Oh, and breakfast food is involved as you’ll soon discover. The poem was derived from a ludicrous story I would tell and retell to the girls, many years ago, when we’d be stuck in traffic on the the Schuylkill Expressway coming from or going into Philadelphia. So, basically every single time we’d be on that wretched 2-lane highway.

Todd McHatton so graciously drew a couple of cheeky monkeys for me several years ago after I first shared this poem with him. He’s crazy like that. I’m publishing the poem now even though it is not a proper poem, by poetry standards, because I believe that waiting for perfection means forever waiting, a perpetual joyless limbo where nothing happens, and because, well, I simply decided that tonight was the night to let it go from a word.doc in a desktop folder on my laptop to the big scary internet place.

They are yours now.

Please enjoy and take care of The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys.

The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys Poem Art by Todd McHatton

The Schuylkill Tree Monkeys

Pumping the brakes all day
Red lights on the expressway.

Why is the traffic here?
What’s making the cars stop?
Look far and look near.
You’ll want to catch what they drop.


Plop, plop, plop.

Roll down the windows
Fork, knife, and spoon
Breakfast goodies are yours
Morning, night, and noon.

Napkins, salt, and ketchup too.
They’re all falling down for you!

If you’re hungry
You’re in luck, luck, luck.
Eat all that you can
While stuck, stuck, stuck.

The Monkeys in the trees
Will thrill, thrill, thrill.
Some days you won’t see them.
But some days
You will.

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