The Wheelbarrow
by Seth Copeland

Grandma was always pushing
it, like a worn-old litter
hoisting a saint’s parade effigy.
The dirt it ferried—wormripe
loam that hugged dead pets
on their last journey—
formed grand sifting hillocks
that collapsed in obscura behind
the shed or into the front porch
garden for roses, a million years of
tectonics in miniature.
On grass, it rode smooth as stone.
On dirt, it stumbled and pitched
like a real sonuvabitch.
After many years, she gave it
to us and mom carted away
stickers, spurge, & bull thistle,
dumping them off the graffitied bridge
over parched Bandy Creek.
When retirement came,
I brought it a bottle of riesling
and we drank into the night,
watching collie and cat ghosts
dance with spinning echinacea blooms
and garden snake skeletons.
In the morning, golden dew
beaded the spilled Auslese.
Stray brown burs floated in it
like dull earthen gems.

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