Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
On Science

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My daughter is in first grade
and there is to be a Science Fair
at her school. She must think of a question
about the world.
She chooses as her question:
why do leaves change color?
She must make a hypothesis, and she makes
this one:
     the wind
          picks up colors
                    from around
     all the trees
                    and paints
          those colors
                    on the leaves.

She brings home books
in her backpack. We find
on the internet illustrations and charts
of water cycles and leaf cells.
She learns to pronounce chlorophyll
and carotenoids and copies these words out of books
with green and orange markers. She studies a chart
on temperature, and she copies an illustration
of the inside of a leaf. She rubs crayons on tracing paper
and leaves and makes prints that way.
She glues these things to a board.

After the Science Fair we walk home.
It is evening and windy.
Leaves blow at our feet and above us.


Lisa Ortiz has had poems appear in Literary Mama, Comstock Review, and Zyzzyva. She is mother to two daughters, ages four and seven.


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