Fixing the RED Wagon

by Mike Todaro

I had put the child's wagon, which had been red once, back together again.
“Honey”, I said, “I found out the garbagemen will pick up concrete this month.”


So, I put the pieces of the wagon back together. Ran a shiny too long
new bolt through the handle holes, oiled the moving parts, sat it upright and
pounded it with my foot once. Flakes of rust fell on the cracked driveway,
some on the new snow from a late Michigan Spring. They would haul away
and we'd need a wagon for that.


I had concrete all right, broken blocks of it, several large chunks. The concrete was
new broken and they would haul it away so I had to get it to the curb.
This pile of concrete was

            all that was left of the remains of what had been parts,
            I thought the strongest parts
            of my life. It was not sad, this stack. Something else
was certainly going to built in
            place. But this one part had collapsed and I needed the wagon to
haul it to the

I worked on this wagon more than
most Spring projects. I wanted it
done right, no squeaks, no wobble,
just smooth quiet efficiency.

The concrete was heavy, sharp edged, ragged and formless. I hadn't appreciated the strength before, how it was built tall, the unique architecture, the struts and buttresses. It collapsed without warning into this pile from which the wagon now rolled back and forth.

            What's being built now? I don't know. No blueprint. Just raw materials.
            No inspiration either. But something is going up, probably of fine
            private concrete, just the right mix, and some open space of course
            which is OK as I believe in squatter's rights.

The wagon works fine too. It will work in all seasons.

I think I'll oil it every Fall though. I think I'll paint it too

so its ready whenever it coincides that the garbagemen

will consent to haul away the
concrete            in