One Way Wagon Carolyn Smart Poetry

local_library One Way Wagon

by Carolyn Smart

Published in Issue No. 159 ~ August, 2010
this is not a wagon, but  a cage
upon  the long bed of a truck
chained by the neck we climbed on board

from Waco to Huntsville
all the way I wondered what I'd see
when we arrived

I was a skinny kid and full of fear

they told me of 'the bat',
the beating as one laid upon the floor,
the sand laced into wounds
the screaming and the smell

they talked about the barrel
how you'd be made to ride all night and day
legs numb and hands tight bound

to keep our spirits up
we talked of Jesse James and William Boney,
how they'd have had them on, those bastards,
how they'd have had them on

the wagon kept on rolling
there was no going home

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Carolyn Smart is the author of five volumes of poetry, including her most recent collection, Hooked (Brick Books, 2009). She is the founder of the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, and since 1989 has taught Creative Writing at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.