Wednesday, August 5, 2015


I hadn’t seen you in a hundred years, wondered
What happened to you. Found you buried alive,
Essentially dead , all rusted out, paint peeling
Off your glossy skin, “Radio Flyer” barely visible.

Grandma had promised you to my son when
He was born, but you were nowhere to be found.
I went ahead and bought a new one, plastic made,
Proof against rust, more expensive, not nearly as
Classy as the American made steel and red paint original.
But we took it to the Grand Canyon, around the block to
School, to the park, on picnics, and to the beach.

Years after Erick had outgrown his little red wagon
I found mine, buried under the red apple and weeds
At Grandma’s house, rusted out with a rat family
Nesting inside, unsalvageable, had to be thrown out.
Inside the house there had been a flood from lack of
Maintenance, a supply line ruptured, everything on the
Floor was ruined. I spent months cleaning up, and there’s
Still more to do. On the floor next to hundred year old
Photos of grandparents and great-grandparents, a
Grocery receipt from forty years ago, mold growing on both.
She took home the junk the other teachers were throwing out.

Now I had to overcome that hoarding, Great Depression,
World War Two pack rat mentality that had been passed
On to me. Be selective, be judicious, save for the sisters
What the sisters would want, but give to the Goodwill, the
Salvation Army, the Wounded Warrior Project that which
Will never be used again in this home. Move Mom in with us,
Later assisted living, then the nursing home with memory care.

She could have cleaned up that house herself, but
Procrastination, indecision, and sentimentality prevented her.
If everything is precious then nothing is.
And aren’t we all hanging on to our own little red wagons
Full of memories and junk?

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