Justin Kern CC
Classifieds: Used Car, High Mileage
When the stickers had been scraped off
and everything dull was shiny again
it almost looked like it wasn’t ours.
But the persistent drip of melted crayon,
dark blue against the grey, resistant to all scrubbing,
spoke of the years it had cradled my babies
taken all of their sticky-fingered abuse
tucked their candy wrappers in its back pocket
and picked up the muddy shoes they kicked off.
I took for granted the gift of its body,
stalwart between my little family and the monsoons,
uncomplaining in the thankless role of work horse.
It wasn’t until after the divorce that I actually named him,
when, years ago, we bonded over tears in the parking lot
after the fracturing of my family was official.
He made an unspoken promise to carry me when I could not walk,
protect me when I was weak,
and be my partner in moving forward.
He didn’t falter until my children were no longer babies
and still he would not let go of the melted crayon.
Not even after I handed him over to some oily stranger
at a gas station parking lot in exchange for a wad
of hundred dollar bills as if all he ever was
was a car.
Marianne Hales Harding is a poet, essayist, and playwright living in a small town in the western United States. She has been published in Dialogue, Segullah, Helicon West, and Rocky Mountain Runners. Her work has been produced across the U.S. and her award-winning play Hold Me was adapted for film. She is honored to influence young writers at three universities and co-founded Provo Poetry, a non-profit dedicated to bringing poetry into the community at large.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.