Yesterday I saw a gate that I had never noticed before. It was unremarkable: waist high, its metal mesh topped with two simple coils. It was painted black.
Did we used to have a gate?
Yes, it was in our front yard. It had a heavy latch that fastened to our fence. We swung on it until we were too heavy, until the gate dragged in the dirt and dug a deep rut.
Did it swing on two hinges?
It did. We bent the pin with our weight and it scraped inside of the barrel. The whole hinge was wretched apart one day, when we pushed our little brother back and forth between us, faster and faster, his red sneakers clinging to the lower bar.
Did we break it?
After that, the gate sagged on its lower hinge, held upright by its own rut. We fastened the latch and didn’t use it again. We came and left through the driveway instead.