Last Week of Fifth Grade

That’s a weird question.

Just answer, please. It’s for school.

Why?

Because I have to give
a presentation on our street.

That’s a weird assignment.

My sister sighs
with force.

Mr. Gottwald is a weird teacher.
Please? There’s no one else
I can ask, except you guys
and Mom and Dad,
and they don’t know anything.

I stare off.
I never thought about it:
What is a Magos? Wait—

I come back from the next room
with the dictionary.

No, she pushes my finger
off the edge. That’s a magus.
I wish it was that easy.
That’s not how it’s spelled.

Why do you care so much?
I’m sure stuff gets misspelled
all the time.

God, you sound like Mom.

I look down
at the back yard.

You could ask the Deeds.
They’ve been here forever.
Or maybe someone
at the Perrin House.

She shakes her head.
Doug said he thinks it’s a kind of tree
that used to be all around here.
Norma thought it was the original name
of the old Junior High. And no one
answered at the big house.
I left a message for the landlord,
but I don’t think he’ll get back
to me in time.

Wow. She actually knocked
on the Perrin house.

In the yard, my brother
and his best friend Andy are doing something
behind a tree. I could almost see
if I went to another window. Mom calls
from downstairs for dinner.

Sorry. I have no idea.

She shrugs and pouts.

Before I go downstairs I open my math textbook.
On the inside cover, below the homework,
there’s a note
in my handwriting:

Relax. Enjoy it
while it lasts.

Whatever that’s supposed to mean.

Added: January 5, 2013 | Last changed: August 5, 2015