Homework on Uranus
I am washing the dinner dishes while my son,
shoulders slumped at the kitchen table, groans
about his science homework while my wife
waits with the patience of a beach stone
beside him, tapping a pen and pointing
at his assignment. “Concentrate,” she says.
My son moans like a beaten dog then starts
reading his assignment and begins laughing.
“Dad, this article says that Uranus is a ‘gas giant.’”
He buckles over, grabbing his gut, hysterical.
My wife glares at me, a laser beam of derision,
hoping against hope that I’d be the father-figure,
explaining to my twelve-year old son that Uranus jokes
are sophomoric, that he needs to concentrate
on his school work and not succumb bathroom humor
or fatuous planet puns and concentrate, son.
Concentrate. Instead, I drop the pot I’m drying
and haw, a hearty guffaw. “Uranus is a gas giant!” I say.
My son blows a raspberry on his forearm, tears
streaming down his cheeks, and my wife stands up.
“I’m done. You help him with this,” she says to me
and leaves the kitchen, leaving my son and me, both
in middle school, giving wedgies in the locker room,
pulling fingers in class, laughing in the face of maturity.
About the Author: Nathan Graziano lives in Manchester, New Hampshire, with his wife and kids. His books include Teaching Metaphors (Sunnyoutside Press), After the Honeymoon (Sunnyoutside Press) Hangover Breakfasts (Bottle of Smoke Press in 2012), Sort Some Sort of Ugly (Marginalia Publishing in 2013), and My Next Bad Decision (Artistically Declined Press, 2014), Almost Christmas, a collection of short prose pieces, was recently published by Redneck Press. Graziano writes a baseball column for Dirty Water Media in Boston. For more information, visit his website: www.nathangraziano.com.
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Image Credit: Photo of Uranus from NASA. Public Domain