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A RELIC OF THE PAST

Here I sit, under a mulberry tree,
tongue hanging in the dust, after that pull uphill.
That was my last farm pull,
and now I’ll sit here as a relic
for city folk to ogle , and say, “How quaint”.

I like sitting here, mulberries covering
my floor. Children clamoring aboard.
Boys pretending there are horses ahead,
calling commands they’d heard from Grandpa.
Soon spiders will build in my corners,
tickling my boards with their long legs.
The old cat will find a spot under the seat,
where she’ll have her last litter,
on a pile of old gunny sacks.

I have served three generations,
my bed carrying a little of everything . . .
grain, corn, pumpkins, rocks. A farmer’s
wagon, that’s all, but I even carried old Elmer
to his last resting place, out beyond the hill.

I had some exciting times. I loved
the Farmer’s Market every Friday, listening
to their friendly bets on who grew the largest
the best, the tastiest. I was always proud of
what I carried, and my bed was empty before
the day ended. Tired farmer. Tired horses.
Tired old wagon.

Now my backboard flaps loosely in the wind,
about to fall off. I don’t suppose it will be
missed for a while.
Not until fall, when the hay-rides start.
A few repairs here and there, so
those city folk, can ride down a dusty country lane,
my squeaks and creaks adding to the aura.
My old wheels can turn a few more times,
and my bed will like the warmth of the hay
spread on my floor.

I’m the old wagon that sits under the mulberry tree,
The relic that city folk love to ogle.

Then came the next generation using me as
intended, especially on Fridays
at the Farmer’s market. That was exciting’
farmers comparing crops
who has the biggest, who has the brightest.
I was proud of my load.

The 3’rd generation debated about keeping me
but used me for hay-rides. What fun.
Floor covered with straw, children and chaperones
laughing and singing, as the horses
trot along country roads
my squeaks and creaks adding to the aura.

Now I am part of the scenery
Perhaps “my” last resting place. I stand
under the mulberry tree as a relic from the past
yet I long to trail along behind the horses,
out in sunny fields of harvest.

8/ 27/06 Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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