Tonight I carried a pony up from the basement, out the basement side door, over the metal fence, and out to the curb. Garbage night. More accurately: garbage-the-night-before-tomorrow-morning's collection night. Cobwebs swarmed all over my coat from the effort, cumbersome and awkward. It was one of those old-fashioned bouncy-bounce rocking horse toys. A plastic pony astride springs. Metal stirrups. Whose was it? Probably my youngest child's. I cannot summon vivid images of her frolicking on this play pony. I mean, I could imagine her toddler face, her unfettered glee, that look, that laugh, but I can't conjure a real and accurate image, one grounded in a quotidian event. I left for a meeting and the pony was sitting there, in the glow of a nearby streetlight. I came back, about 90 minutes later, and it was still there, wasn't it? I saw a van pull up near the curb, by the front of the house. The sliding door. Someone getting back in. The sliding door. A kid? The pony was gone. As typically happens in our urban environment, you can put just about anything out by the curb and someone will find some use for it. Lawn mower. Computer. Broom. Couch. Anything metal. Not old tires. Then I wondered: will it be cleaned up, made to look brand-new? And will this be some child's present on Christmas morning? I ached with the thought and its sentimentality. And wrestled: is this an occasion for heart-wrenching joy or heart-wrenching sadness?