Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Friday Slide Show: The Red Wheelbarrow Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

29 January 2021

Abandoned in an alley for years now, we have watched this old wheelbarrow slowly rust away, its work long done. We can't help wondering how it came to be left in the alley.

At first we thought it belonged to the neighbor whose property it lies on. But that neighbor is not of the construction work persuasion. More the girl-next-door and her mother types.

We thought maybe it was used when the alley was covered over in cement. Which would make it very old.

But why would a worker wash it out only to leave it there?

The alley narrows considerably going to the street, less than three feet across and blocked by plantings. Too narrow, that is, to roll the wheelbarrow out.

Maybe the worker went off to find someone to help him carry it out sideways. And simply forgot about it.

Was it laid on its side to drain after being hosed off? Or was it laid on its side to avoid filling with rain water and rusting out?

It is useless where it is.

The area is all concrete, bound by the walls of the houses and the tall fences of the back yards.

Well, not completely useless.

Every time we see it, we are reminded of our English 1A teaching assistant who favored the Imagist poets and had us read one of William Carlos Williams's more well known instances (which we quoted in an old Caption Contest).

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

Craig Morton Teicher (and what an appropriate name that is) asks the perennial question about the poem: Just What Does Depend on That Old Wheelbarrow, Anyway? in case it's bugging you. It was enough for us to listen to Mr. Michaels explain that the wheelbarrow and the chickens were all there was to it. It was a picture.

A picture with some emotional weight, that is. Like that rusty wheelbarrow.

The mother who lived next door passed away some time ago. Her daughter remains there but her brother, who used to visit frequently (especially for her holiday cooking) passed away himself last year.

The reason we're in the alley so much is to care for our own mother, who is 93 at the moment, sharing the alley.

And if you are thinking we are all old wheelbarrows, well, let's just say a lot depends on us.

BackBack to Photo Corners