Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "Science, Unfair"

This poem came out of the April 5, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by prompts from thesilentpoet, my_partner_doug, aldersprig, janetmiles, and kelkyag.  It was sponsored by janetmiles.  Clearly, everyone wanted to see the science fair involving the folks from Monster House.  Heh ... yeah.  I've actually heard stories from the kind of science fair involving kids with access to way too many cool ideas.

You can read the rest of the "Monster House" series by following the links on the "Serial Poetry" page on my website.

Science, Unfair

"So how did the science fair go?"
I asked my daughter.

"Total failure,"
she grumbled.

"What went wrong?"
I asked.

"First I wanted to do a project
to make a ghost visible,
which you vetoed
because it wasn't safe for the ghost,"
she said.

"Well, yes ..."

"Then I wanted to do a project
building a perpetual-motion engine
with some help from the troll in the basement,
which Mom vetoed
because it wouldn't be all my work,"
she said.


"Then I wanted to do a project
with a poltergeist and levitation,
which my teacher  vetoed
because levitation 'isn't real science'
and he doesn't believe in ghosts,"
she said.

The little old lady ghost shook her head
and went back to her transparent knitting.
My daughter giggled,
but only for a moment.

Meanwhile her baby brother
crawled over my feet to sit by the floor vent,
dropping Cheerios one at a time through the grille
to feed the coblynau knocking away underneath.

"So what project
did you actually wind up doing?"
I asked.

"I just gave up and asked Grandma
to loan me her time machine --"

"Wait, what?!"

"-- so I could go to the future
and get a Kiddie Kold Fusion Kit,"
my daughter said.

"Please tell me you didn't blow up the school
or anything like that," I said.

"No, because that doofus Peter
left it too close the radiator
and it melted," she snapped.
"So I didn't get any credit at all!"

"I'm sorry to hear that, sweetie,"
I said.  "I'm sure next year will go better."

"Yeah, because next year
I'm going back instead of forward,"
she said.  "Let's see them
try to ignore a clutch of T. rex  eggs."
She stomped up the stairs, curls bouncing.

I picked up the baby, settled him on my hip,
and headed into the kitchen to my wife.
"I thought you told me,"
I said carefully,
"that your mother was senile
and none of her inventions
actually worked."

"Well," she said faintly,
"that's what we thought."

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, poem, poetry, reading, science fiction, writing

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