Goat in a Sidecar

by Margo Mensing

Dorothea Lange, Photograph

Bound for California

Oakland Museum

Whatever goes must fit in the car   Tied on the top

or lashed to the side   Perhaps a child must stay behind

farmed out with an aunt who lives in town 

Somehow the goat   only a kid   among the chosen

He has his own sidecar   slatted wood   lashed tight

to the running board on the passenger side  

His perked- up ears graze the top of the crate

Here is the family at the moment they leave


We do not know where they are going   or if

they arrive   Maybe they turn back in the middle

of the panhandle   Maybe they find land they can till  

Maybe she takes a job as a maid 

and he a handyman   Maybe they end up

in the movies   building sets for MGM