Size / / /

Beware the quip that youth is wasted

on the young. Exasperated,

those youths will offer a switch.

Infants through middle-schoolers

will pick up our projects

while scientists and politicians,

retirees and social workers

enjoy long days on slip-n-slides.

In their quest to disprove

their time squandering stigma,

these kids will in one week

discover the unifying theory of physics.

While Mrs. Canady sips apple juice,

her fifth grade class builds rocket ships.

To seek out those Nordic aliens

from Star Trek marathons.

Failing, they'll remember

not to waste time or resources

on fruitless endeavors,

and turn to go home before supper.

Their artists will paint only what they've seen

with as few crayons as possible.

And their five-year-old geologists

will not dilly dally.

They'll breeze through their surveys,

keep their pockets empty,

and not once tug a pant leg,

critter filled hand upturned, to ask

Can I take this one home?

HelenaBell Helena Bell is a writer and tax accountant living in Chattanooga, TN. Her fiction has appeared in Lightspeed, Clarkesworld, and The Indiana Review. Instead of cats she collects graduate degrees and currently has MFAs in Fiction and Poetry as well as a JD, LLM, and MAC. You can find her at
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