Little Red Wagon

by Shannon Abbott

I carry my curiosity wherever I go—
it is bright red with four wheels.
I’ve been accumulating dust and dirt on my walk,
still I never let go of the handle.
It used to get me in trouble—this wagon behind me,
when I would carry home buckets of worms,
in my little red wagon.
But after 20 years, the load gets heavy.
Knowing has become responsibility—
and the answers sometimes bite and bruise.
The red paint is dulling and cracks
and the wheels whine when I turn them.
Stuck in melancholy mud, I stand silent
and I wonder why I even bother. It irritates me.
I wonder where I went wrong, but then again,
when did cynicism turn to rust? I am not
complicit with expected mundanity.
Why have I not yet learned how to sail a boat?
Or how to play piano?
Somewhere in my wagon, I find a book about sailboats
and we keep trudging through together.