Flipping through old pictures, I found one I had taken of a student's limerick poem (written on a Dr. Seuss hat):
There once was a very nice buck.
He met a very nice duck.
He was mating,
The grass was fading
Then he had no luck.
I remember crouching next to his desk to edit the rough and having to re-read it several times.
"So...tell me more about what this poem is saying...who doesn't have any luck? What kind of luck doesn't he have...?"
No matter how I phrased my questions, I couldn't get him to really explain it satisfactorily. I don't think he really understood the ways in which this poem was just...awkward. And I couldn't ask the questions I really wanted answered without touching on taboo topics in a public elementary school. So I finally just checked spelling and grammar before sending him off to publish his final copy.
Though I'm still wondering what his mother thinks of my poetry instruction...