On Weird Science Night at my son’s elementary school
we see live crawdads pulled from a tank in the gym
as water drips from their shining claws.
We learn they can regrow their limbs
and that when they grow they shed their exoskeleton
leaving them soft and vulnerable.
In a dark classroom we see transparent fish
with glowing T-cells.
We learn they’re given leukemia
and then drugs to try to cure it.
The scientists can tell if it’s working
or not by looking at the T-cells.
We see a human brain in someone’s hands.
One specimen has been sliced down the middle
and I have to look closely to see the amygdala,
the part of my brain that doesn’t work correctly
and gives me anxiety.
I wonder how many schools are given this opportunity.
In the email from our school district’s Safety Advisory Council
I learn that 20 to 25 percent of children have an anxiety disorder.
I wonder if my son will develop it too
or if he will learn to read T-cells.
I wonder if the council can prevent another Marshall County.
I feel as soft and vulnerable as the crawdad without his exoskeleton.