Member preview


You did not understand the wagon,
red, dotted with beige grains,
splatter from when you repainted the house
and forgot to move it.

There is rust on the wagon, as well,
strips where the red base
peels from the metal,
coarse and catching all over

when the clothing of the child
slips from pause to pause
across the surface — 
she scoots backward and forward

in tandem with your pulls at the handle
as you falter across cattle guards,
and the wagon bumps across those pipes
those bars across caverns dug in the road.


As she grows taller,
I can’t help but think they meant
little to you,
the minor pieces of importance

for her, me, those who
would understand the
way overalls turn to jeans,
jeans which wear at the knees.

And you patch, always
patch those fraying areas,
those places where she prays.
Years on knees spent

knocking at doors which
do not open: she is outside in the
cool and subtle wind,
waiting for revival of the self.

Like what you read? Give Jacob Levi Peterson a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.