Battered Blue Wheelbarrow

What It Carries, Still

Your father, whose voice scared me,

whose head loomed a full 14 inches over my mine,

bought us our only housewarming gift;

a bright blue, six cubic foot wheelbarrow.

We laughed at its size, laughed as you gave me

a bumpy ride over the first lawn

we giddily called our own.


He seemed to believe our future

would be one of Paul Bunyan-sized loads.

It was.


In it we hauled firewood, dirt, rocks,

crinkled leaves topped with squealing toddlers.

It held a big block Dodge engine.

It toted rolls of fencing, chicken feed, cow manure.

It carried trays of tender seedlings

out to the garden, waiting

as I blessed each one into soft earthen beds.


Today you mend the rusted body

of our battered blue wheelbarrow.

I wish your father lived to see

its wooden handles smoothed from use

and what it carries, still

on that one sure wheel.

Laura Grace Weldon

Originally published in The Moon Magazine. Find more poems in my collection, Tending.

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