I don’t know if kids are still made
to take them, the Iowa Tests,
of course I could look it up,
not beyond googling, but Wiki
has no memory of this echo.

I was in the 8th grade, yellow
#2 black bile pencil at the ready,
desk cleared, humors silent.
This one was a vocabulary test,
and one word from it sticks

in memory still: melancholy.
Four choices, and I pick
happy, reasoning based
solely on sound – I thought
the tinkling mellow, jolly

and cock-a-hooped
filled the circle C and
moved to the next word.
Later, I happened to ask

Sister Mary what it meant,
melancholy, and whadayaknow,
I was veracious
and ran out to recess
happy as a clam at high tide.