Go-kart

"He got a pony!"
I rambled incorrigibly
to my grandfather as we
walked from the pasture
back to the house strewn
with Christmas morning
wrapping paper massacred
by boys aged eight and ten.

"They even made me help pick it out!"
The absurdity of the situation boiled the
tears of resentment fighting to remain unfallen.

It was several weeks ago.
Out we drove, hours it seemed.
Up on Pony I went,
       
          circle

circle           circle

          circle

his gait quickened as I dug my heels
into his stomach for safety.
"He's heeling him" barked the gruff owner.
I relaxed my death grip and my fear subsided
simultaneously with Pony transformed from a
barrel racing rodeo stud, to his true nature,
a plodding, methodical trail horse.

For weeks we stowed him away,
my brother naively banned from the
deeper parts of the backyard where
the weathered horse barn
had been barren for years.

On Christmas morning, he received
sugar cubes in his stocking, and I might
as well have had coal. A long walk to Santa
this year through the South Texas cold, we mushed
out to the barn as a family to revel in his jubilation.
All the while, I prattled on, and on, and on, in my
grandfather's ear about how many times and how many
years I had waited for a go-kart.

"He makes one wish for a pony, and my parents are a lamp
to his every desire."

Then, as we turn the corner, distracted by my rant
I did not notice we went the long way around the house,
there is a shiny red go-kart sitting in front of the garage.

This poem was written after reading "The Red Sweater" by Joseph O. Legaspi. Legaspi's poem also depicts the thoughtful reflection of a child who has received a gift from a parent. The child reflect's on the "twenty hours at the fast-food joint" his mother had to work to afford the present. Legaspi uses shift, simile, and pauses for reflection to effectively convey the idea of sacrifice through the speaker's reflections.  

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