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.
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