Category Archives: car

Don’t-Ask-Babe

Don't ask Babe

 

I wrote this one as part of the April 2013 Poetic Asides Poem-A-Day challenge. Just another day in the neighborhood…

 

Don’t-Ask Babe

I’d been sitting in the street with my hand up the
left front wheel well of the van like some large
animal veterinarian checking the cervix
of a past-due rhinoceros. Been there for at
least half an hour, effing and blinding about
why Chrysler can’t put the turn signal bulb
in a place accessible to normal sized hands

and I look up and there’s Don’t-Ask Babe
coming down the sidewalk towing his entire
forty-two-inch Craftsman rolling tool chest,
with twenty ball-bearing drawers, black.
(Don’t-Ask Babe, you wonder? His dad was
a huge Yankee fan back in the old country,
and it’s a bit of a touchy subject. So… you know, don’t ask).

I look up and he says, That’s a ’97 isn’t it?
and he starts pulling open drawers like he’s
playing whack-a-mole with a socket set. No, Babe,
I’m good, I say. He wheels around. What?
You think just cause I’m some stupid Mexican
I can’t fix your shiddy van? Then he flashes
his trademark smile and hands me a wrench.

Anyway, he says, I’m from the Dominican.

 

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While You Wait

Railroad tracks 2Remembering a local business that disappeared in the name of progress.  I can’t show you a picture, because it’s gone.  But here’s the general location, right next to the tracks where it sat before the new underpass went in. Written to share with friends at Poetic Bloomings and the dVerse Poets Pub.

 

While you wait

Before they built the underpass there was
an oil change place by the railroad crossing
on Main Street. Stuck waiting for a train?
their brazen candy-stripe sign inquired,
Have your oil changed while you wait!

and I often did, screwing up my courage
to sample their outrageously strong coffee,
thick as 10W30, hot as the devil’s arse,
while the train rattled slowly past and the
grease monkeys scampered around the bay.

One time I read a book on their table about
sibling rivalry. Another I remember staring
out the dirt-smeared window at the quietly
falling snow. I thought great thoughts there.
I decided straight-up: God loved the railroad.

But in the end not even God could help against
the wrecking ball of progress. Now I don’t wait
for trains any more. I get my oil changed in
a place with a stuffed bass on the wall.
It’s too clean. And the coffee has no soul.

 

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