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5th Grade Parent Teacher Conference

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5th Grade Parent Teacher Conference

The boy's laughter cuts the room
in half. Sharp edged syllables
slicing into the academic silence.

The speaker pauses, turns, "Well, thank you,"
The audience laughs, the way we laugh when we don't
grasp what we're laughing at. The way we laugh

at retarded jokes. The boy's parents remain
stoic, fixed on the speaker; accustomed
to inappropriate outbursts. The future little

architects, scientists, laugh along. The way
we watch our parents. The way we learn
what is funny. The boy's sister,

the future little sociologist, the future
little anthropologist, the 5th grade
psychologist, flips back her hair, tells him, "Shhhhh!"
More so for our benefit, than his.