Überhaus Diary: Taking Apart the Old Ford

by , under Ancient Personal History, Poetry, Überhaus Diary

From 1998
whitey

Taking apart
the old Ford
Whitey could name

all the pieces
maybe not right names
but he knew them all

had hefted each
in a greasy hand
sometime along the way

The Ford stood on blocks
off the ground
the pride and joy

He’d crawl under
without fear but
it looked shaky to me

Whitey was confident
though he didn’t say much
just whistled that tuneless tune of his

through his teeth
while he worked.
It took forever.

Once I heard him swear
the hot day where
we were all so sweaty

it ran down our faces
like dirty water
tracking through the grime

to soak our waistbands
like we’d pissed our pants
asleep.

He skinned his knuckles bad
so the blood spilled
to the floor

mixing in with the rainbow
of transmission fluid and oil.
Jesus Fuck!

he yelled, clutching
it to his belly and then
grinning up at us

like we’d shared
a dirty secret
went whistling back to work.

One day, he seemed to sing,
we’d pile into the newly new old Ford
agleam in the sun and new paint

and the tires would hum us
down the highway fast
and with the wind

in our hair
he’d take us always
where we want to go

Don't just stand there.