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Apr 18
(NaPoWriMo Challenge: April 18, 2019)

Let’s just say we are builders of wagons.
Yeah, cowboys building coffee wagons.
Smart cowboys who had good hubs.

Even though the wagons give us plenty
of problems to be solved,
bonnets to be painted with advertisements,
commercials to be played on screens
out the back. But we were the best

wagon building team there ever was.
We liked each other; we laughed a lot;
we kept trying to improve our processes.
We shared life tips and work tips
and hiking tips and campfire tips.
We were grateful for each other.

Ester would visit me every morning
and we’d talk about our mothers
or she would show me how to paint bonnets.
Well, one surprising day
they escorted her out of a wagon
and sent her down the trail
without so much a howdy do,
after 28 years of painting wagon bonnets.
And they expressed no gratitude for all her bonnets.

And for this, the rest of us felt grief.
Elmwood picked up painting her bonnets
but he never wanted to work on bonnets.
Gwendolyn moved to another work team.
Ernie stopped caring about the wagons.

And then Bruce came to tell us
we weren’t even making wagons anymore
and that we would be making something else.
But we never found out what that other thing was
and our systems were disassembled
and all our projects were halted
and no gratitude was expressed
for all we had done.

And we felt grief for missing the wagons
and missing Ester and missing our sessions
of circling the wagons.

Entropy came and some cowboys began to feel
more than grief, they started to feel grievances instead,
grievances that Bruce and Betty and Barbara
from Corporate never visited and never knew
what making wagons was about.
And after a while we couldn’t tell the difference
between grief and grievances.

But maybe Corporate was right
because nobody is selling ******* coffee
out of wagons these days.
Or trains or trolleys either.
The work is nothing, after all that,
but spinning wagon wheels.
And all the wagons are melting right now
in the hot, dry sun.

Work is the moments and nothing else.
You can be grateful for that.
Grievances will get your out the door.
But your grief will never quit.
Prompt: write a poem about grief with tangible particulars.
Mary McCray
Written by
Mary McCray
   Joel M Frye
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