My son wants to know
if the George Washington
on the quarter in his hand is the same as
George Washington Carver,
"that guy who figured out
all what you can do with a peanut."
No, I tell him, they were different men,
but probably the second George's mother
knew about the first George, and liked
the sound of that name, and so used it again.
"And what about that other guy,
who some person got crazy and shot to death?"
Abraham Lincoln? I ask.
"No," my boy says, "the other one that had
a name because his mama liked it from before."
Martin Luther King? I ask.
"Yes," says my boy, "his mama
probably liked the sound of Martin Luther."
He seems quietly happy to think of these mamas
picking out names for their babies,
and I think about how much I will love someday
telling him all the reasons he is who he is.