Red Wagon in the Rain
Driving by, my peripheral vision
catches sight of a bright red wagon
standing amid weeds on the unkempt
lawn of a Methodist church, verdant
grass unmowed since our latest cloudburst
saturated every garden, turning earth
to mud more liquid and viscous
then Texas dirt has any right to be.
The scarlet wagon, briefly glimpsed,
framed by crooked trees, resembled
the symbolic bridges traditional
Chinese landscape artists paint
into seasonal landscapes. I suppose
a wagon is a kind of bridge carrying
people, cargo across an expanse of ground
difficult to traverse on foot.
Pioneer travelers floated Conestoga wagons
across unbridged waterways and flooded fords
I picture them lined up like pontoon bridges
Roman engineers artfully employed
to cross wide European rivers –
Rhone, Seine, Danube, Tiber.
It’s raining again, sky full up and heavy
with clouds that dim the light to gray.
The crimson color of that wagon
glows like a lantern in my mind
bridging the gaps between
pioneers and Romans, Methodists
and Oriental art. The past,
the present, the future melt
and meld, moving in slow currents
through my days and I think
I am that red wagon, I
am the bridge.