Parenting Class

by Emma Danes

Like the six blind men arguing
over the appearance of an elephant
none of them has seen, we debate

the nature of the child. A dozen women,
arranged across a polite restraint
of carpet, shielded from the subject

of discussion by suction-sealed doors
and clinker-built blinds. As though any of us
could see beyond our knowledge of ears, say,

or knees of this fictional whole child,
or accept we all are right, and how wrong.
We may as well stop here, I want to say,

allow children to be elephants:
unfretted on the wide day, calling
each other beneath the huge arch of the sky.