Radio Flyer

What has happened here?

I see two men assembling

a child’s red wagon

on the floor of an office building.

The wagon will be used

for advertising purposes.

The office is for insurance

purchases. You pay money now

to keep from paying more money

later, but you hope never to pay

any money. It’s a form of corruption

or tax. The law demands you buy insurance.


Yet I knew a girl who once pulled

a wagon full of cucumbers through

the same neighborhood, selling them

for a nickel, three for a dime and

said goodbye to her mother who

said to her, “Be careful and be

sure to be home for dinner.”


So the child pulled the wagon alone

through the neighborhood and sold

her cucumbers door to door.

She always came home to dinner

on time.


What has happened here?

The child is no longer safe to pull

a wagon through the neighborhood

or walk through the neighborhood

alone. It isn’t safe. No one would

encourage her to do so. The streets

were dirt. Now they are paved.

The houses were simple. Now they

are fully equipped, but the spirit

of innocence is gone. The Holy

Spirit and the red wagons are

gone and there is no insurance

for what has happened to the red wagons

or the children or the innocence

unless perhaps you believe in

the mercy of God, unless perhaps

the policy has expired, we haven’t

kept up the premiums and next comes

the unmitigated wrath for which there

is no insurance.