Monday, November 15, 2021

Her Front-Bumper Saga

It takes things a while to get where they are,
Then takes them a while to get somewhere else,
Is what she meant to say, but what she said

Was only by way of illustration
Of the point she’d wanted to get across
While staring at the bumper of her car,

The way someone will stare at a toddler
Or a cherished pet that has recently,
And rather characteristically, been

Misbehaving. She said it all started
With a cottonwood root in a campground
The bumper snagged a couple years ago.

That incident left a small crack in it.
A year or so later, it snagged again
On a slightly-too-large rock in the road

Following a couple days of flash floods.
It wobbled at high speeds for months like that,
But just a slight flexing in the corner.

Parked, you couldn’t even see it, unless
You walked around the car looking for scars.
But it caught a metal gate left ajar

That blew open in the wind last autumn.
Then she was in a snowstorm upcountry
And she dragged it on an icy snowbank

As she backed away from a tricky edge.
By then it looked bad, a dangling fragment
Of broken bumper on the driver’s side.

She sighed. She’d had such a long way to drive
Down the mountain and then the interstate
Before she could get to another town.

The torn bit flapped like crazy down the road,
Especially at high speeds in cross drafts
Between the weaving, long-haul, road-train trucks,

And then, just like that, it snapped completely
And flew off behind her like a raven
Shot straight out of a cannon or something.

She shrugged, her arms folded, staring at it,
Her front bumper with a corner missing.
It came apart by bits. She’ll get it fixed.

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