Wagon Wheels

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by Alan S. Garrett

If I only knew where those wagon wheels had been.

A couple of metal wagon wheels are outside the cabin. The antique wheels were purchased many years ago to use as decoration in a driveway entrance that was never built. I wonder what miles they traveled in their time, what lands they have seen or people they have encountered. I wonder where parts of themselves were left behind.

The wheels are the center of a tale of circles connected to each other. From the center hubs extend spokes that support outer rings upon which tread is attached. Where the tread meets the road; that is the fringe of the wagon wheel's existence.

For every mile gained, some tread is lost. For every bump in the road, some damage is done. Sometimes the tread wears down, sometimes it sits unused and withers away. Mostly, old tread is replaced with new until an upgraded generation comes along and replaces the entire design.

I look down and notice the tread on my shoes is getting worn. But unlike the wagon wheels I know where they have traveled.

If I only knew where those wagon wheels had been.