Informing and engaging area residents


Big Wheels, Little Wheels

Poem and photo by Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith

The day the dozer dug that trench through the cornfield
its deep-treaded wheels marking furrows of progress
I was pushing my baby’s stroller along the adjacent road.

And as the stroller’s wheels bumped over clods of Richmond clay
hard-packed patties deposited by trucks
I felt a sudden jab of pain
like the soil would as the shovel tears into it
like a snake would as it rips free of old skin.

And the snake would lie panting momentarily,
glistening and vulnerable
unsure at first
yet larger through the pain of growth.

And the overturned soil would reveal its substrata
crumbly at first
yet forming the foundation for the next stage of growth.

A snake cannot keep its skin.
The soil must be overturned.

I turned the stroller’s wheels away from the broken soil
inhaling deep, painful breaths.

Before every new beginning
something must end.


Lee Ann Eckhardt Smith is a professional writer from Richmond. During Richmond’s 200th anniversary year, she has been sharing with Richmond Hub readers some photographs she’s taken around the village along with the poems the pictures inspire her to write.