the new car

I could have kept the old car
that I knew so well
it and I had travelled
through all the middle years of my life

with my tools in the back
ladder up on top
and my mind running ahead
to the next job

or taking my wife and the kids
to go visiting
five hundred miles in a stretch
or more
this family’s spread a long way
with the passing of years

but every thing has it’s time
and now my breath comes hard
I don’t work too much
and the old machine
that’s been a part of me
had started to rattle when I cranked it over
dropping spots of oil
and letting water in where I know
no water should be

there’s a time that comes
for everything

but I don’t understand
the new car is
in every way
a smaller one

so why do I feel I could hide a small family
in the trunk

I was sitting in the driveway in neutral
while I read page ten of the manual
when a flashing sign told me off
for not being in park

seems like there’s a button for this
and a button for that
a hundred and ten small motors
for the windows
for the mirrors
for the aerial
and for who the hell knows what

when I tried to move the car just a foot or two
before I closed the driver’s side door
well
I swear
you’d have thought I must have broken
it’s mother’s leg

I didn’t get a beep of warning
it was more like a scream of fright
I know I’m getting old
but I didn’t think I needed nanny-ing yet

so I sit out in the car
parked inside my garage
holding the keys tight in my hand
wondering what to do

once upon a time the car was mine
and it went exactly where I drove it

now I feel watched and judged
constrained until permission
is flashed and granted

don’t get me wrong
it’s a fine machine
loaded with personality
and when I go for a drive
I feel I could save the whole planet
on my own

a fellow rang me up
said he was looking to buy
my old jalopy from the dealer
what was my opinion
did I think it was worth the cash

I said

mate
oh mate
I think you ought to grab it

it’s a wonderful old beast
simple to drive
simple to repair
it’s a car you can understand

mate

I said

oh mate
I think a part of me grew old
the day I let it go


© Frank Prem, 2009

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One thought on “the new car

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