Renewing A Book at the Library

Once I had my husband do it
when the kids were sick,
and he was stir crazy.
“Here, go renew my library book
then have a beer at the bar.
But don’t come home in the same mood
or without my book.”

Then once I did it.
Both kids melting,
hanging on my shirt,
drawing down the collar
into the shape of a pitiful, gaping mouth.
The what’s-become-of-me mother look.
But I got my book again,
so forget fashion.

And then this Monday I dared
renew it a 3rd time.
I was alone
(which almost never happens anymore
when once upon a time I loved to go everywhere alone
out for lunch,
to the movies,
to the library.
But then that isn’t actually true.
I always had a book with me.)