Boys bookshelf goes up. We joy together
and line shelves, fill empty white spaces,
match titles, exult.
I pull-
childhood tales…
yellow
sweet…
Englebreit illustrations.
 
Gather Little Boy and Little Girl.
We sit together.
We soak in beautiful pictures.
Many of these stories-
we have never heard- together.
 
They love. They love and sit
and watch and listen.
 
Suddenly- words burst…
I want that one…
I want the one… the “dirty duck” story…
I pause. The dirty duck?
 
I get it.
The Ugly Duckling.
He is gray/brown amidst
the yellow gold of nestlings.
Dirty-
he does indeed look.
 
I throw back head and laugh and laugh-
laugh rings out, fills room, floods hearts.
All joy.
The dirty duck…
 
We find the story and we read.
And still-
she struggles…
prone to call
that story
“The Dirty Duck”.
We laugh.