In the children’s area of our local Louisiana library
an armful of this week’s haul of crinkly books.
Explaining, to the appalled assembled parentage of
Madison, Ellie, Aubrey,
Brok, Brendan, Holly and Bree,
why my three year old
zebra print bow gathered up in her curls
has just leaned forward
comfortable on the blue plastic couch
to cup her hands around her mouth and clearly shout:
“Mom, did you get any books with the naked people in it?”
“It’s Eric Carle,” I say
to the suspicious mommy grandma big sister faces
“one of his books, ‘Draw me a star.”
But by the time I’ve described the artist as an analogy for God
I realize I never should have explained to begin with.
Who can explain the point, or the pulchritude, of a picture book.
There is nothing to defend, there is nothing to do but
stack up the books on top of the stroller
16 month old strapped back in below the dangerous tower of words
three year old galloping ahead to the circulation desk
shelves of books waiting their turn.