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What It Carries, Still—
by
Laura Grace Weldon


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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.

 
This poem first appeared in the The Moon Magazine.
Used here with permission.

 



Laura Grace Weldon is the author of three books, as well as being a book editor, educator, farm wench, and perpetual optimist. She admits she would get more done if she didn't spend so much time reading library books, cooking weird things, and singing to livestock at her family farm in Litchfield, Ohio. Learn more about Laura at https://lauragraceweldon.com/ and https://bitofearthfarm.wordpress.com/.

 

 

 

 


Post New Comment:
BAMars:
This is a very touching poem,capturing the memories so many material things hold.
Posted 06/14/2019 03:17 PM
Lori Levy:
Beautiful poem and beautiful tribute to your father-in-law.
Posted 06/11/2019 01:47 PM
Michael:
What a poignant memory, Laura, the stuff of fathers and of families, carried to eternity in your blue, six-cubit foot wheel barrow.
Posted 06/11/2019 11:47 AM
joecot:
I love this poem.
Posted 06/11/2019 11:33 AM
cscoville:
Your poem is a gentle meditation on simple wisdom and the richness of ordinary life.
Posted 06/11/2019 10:55 AM
Franne:
Oh the joy! Verse heart expand softening words.
Posted 06/11/2019 10:33 AM
peninsulapoet:
wonderful poem.
Posted 06/11/2019 09:35 AM
njc:
A fine reminder of the value of a simple gift that is made to last a lifetime.
Posted 06/11/2019 08:54 AM
Larry Schug:
So much depends on a blue wheel barrow. And so much depends on remembering all the hands, especially the father's, that smoothed the handles. He touches you every time you touch those handles.
Posted 06/11/2019 08:13 AM


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