The Work of Art
by Sidney Lamar Smith

The wheelbarrow you are still pushing
flattened under the weight
of the pile of people
you had expected to regret rejecting you,
only the pile grew
and you pushed harder
fearing they would never approve –
which is true.
The weight drove the wheelbarrow’s nose into the ground,
and the body stood straight up-upside down like an impaled plow.
When the pile became a mountain
you still pushed the handles,
though second guessing the effort,
having given up hope anything would be moving
other than the rising mountain –
but it was a habit --
and the wheelbarrow was doffed
like a red cap on the peak off the mountain,
giving the world the middle finger with wooden handles.

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