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The Wheelbarrow Man

A short story in the summer 2006 edition of the Antioch Review. Two spiritual brothers, very different from one another, meet in the small town of Riverton. Restaurant owner and family man Parker and the Wheelbarrow Man, who is attempting to push a blue wheelbarrow around the world, imagine what it would be like to be in the other's shoes.


He wasn’t a disappointment.

He was taller than the residents of Riverton had expected and thinner which enhanced the loose-jointed effect of his movement. His body shambled along under a holey pair of jeans, a checkered plaid shirt, and a tattered denim jacket. His face was razor-boned under a salt and pepper beard, and though his eyes were deeply set and difficult to read, in some of towns through which he’d passed, people were still speaking of a movement below their grey surfaces, like leaves tumbling under the muddy river. He stepped and stepped and stepped into the town of Riverton behind a blue wheelbarrow.