The idea must have come
from one of our parents
but when it took root
in our girls club, The Sunflowers,
it was our own and we took after it
like a bulldog to a bone.
We claimed an old piece of farm machinery
lying abandoned in the weeds.
Our Uncle Jim, who often helped us
with his tools, cut the axle in half so we could
have a big wheel, about three feet in diameter,
with the half axle as stem.
After procuring Pappap’s permission,
we proceeded to dig a hole under his willow,
not too deep, but deep enough.
Then my sister and I took Sunflower money,
walked the mile to the feed mill
and bought a sack of cement.
It was twenty pounds or so
and we paced ourselves, counting
out the steps and taking turnscarrying our burden back to Pappap’s
where the oldest of us mixed it up,
put the axle in the hole and let it set.
We painted the wheel from leftover paints
in Pappap’s basement: mostly blues, greens
and whites avoiding his beloved battleship gray
and had Uncle Jim make us some
wooden seats so the metal spokes
wouldn’t wear ridges in our bottoms.
When the cement was set, the paint dry,
we gave the wheel a spin
and eureka it worked!
We took turns riding and spinning
till the trees, the road, the houses all blended
together in a smear of colors.
The kids passing by on the school bus
were inquisitive when they saw our Flying Jenny
and some even came for a country visit to try it out.
We whirled about on our wheel until we got older
and didn’t notice when it became so neglected
Papap dug it up and threw it away.