Leah Umansky

The Wonder Years

“[my kids are playing house] and are currently waiting for Fresh Direct”
– a Facebook status


Dick and Jane are playing house. Dick is playing with his father’s iPad, “Honey, my Fantasy team just won the season.” Jane ignores him. She picks up two spatulas and pretends to flat-iron her hair. “That’s great, Dear, can you order Fresh Direct when you’re done?” “No,” says Dick, “I have to prep for a meeting. I need to Skype with China in two hours.”

Jane sighs.

The next day, after an hour of killing each other in World of Warcraft with Tom and Paul on the Internet, Jane begs Dick to come into the kitchen with her. She puts her hand on her face and pulls her skin very taunt: “Look, I’m Mom, try to make me smile.” Dick laughs. He says, “Okay, you be mom and I’ll be dad.”

Jane: “Hi, Honey. How was your day?”
Dick: [typing furiously on a pretend iPhone] “Fine. I’m in the middle of something.”

Jane sighs. She pretends to burst into tears and then turns her back and pretends to take a small pill and is magically happy again. She flits around the room and smiles. “Oh, That’s great, honey. “

Then, she sits down opposite Dick and pretends to take out her iPhone and both stare into the white screen.


Dad comes home. Dick and Jane don’t come downstairs. Dick and Jane watch the DVR upstairs. Mom and Dad talk. Dick and Jane don’t hear Mom and Dad talk. Dick and Jane are hungry. Dick and Jane complain to Mom and Dad. Dad tells Dick to order pizza. Dick and Jane take Dad’s iPhone and order pizza. Dick and Jane run down to the basement. Spot follows Dick and Jane.

Spot lays on the floor. Jane places different objects on Spot. First, a Kindle. Then, a juice pack. Then, Mother’s left Louboutin, and finally, the Wii controller. Spot is mad. Spot gets up and barks. Dick makes a video of Spot. Jane watches Dick make a video of spot. Dick uploads the clip to YouTube. Then, Dick and Jane go Viral.

Leah Umansky's first collection of poems, Domestic Uncertainties, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX Books in January 2013. Her poems can be found in such journals as Barrow Street and Catch-Up. Read more at: She also hosts and curates COUPLET: A Poetry and Music Series on NYC’s Lower East Side.

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