A Day For A Lifetime


Driving my car across the country, numerous years ago, going to a new place,
Changing who I’d know
A loud bang broke the boredom and blue smoke filled the air, engine was
A ’knocking, a sound beyond compare
I rolled onto a shoulder she shuddered then just quit, steam billowed, gurgled
Upward, a vaporous boiling spit
Radiator hose blown open, fan belt a shredded knot, out in the center of nowhere
My old motor smoking hot
In the trunk I found duct tape, a knotted ball of rusty wire, a pair Big Mama
Pantyhose tucked beneath the flat spare tire
Duct taped her hose- wiped her nose a rusty water spot, wound nylons ‘round
Her pulleys tied them in a big old hairy knot
She sputtered on, then started, guzzled water like a horse, I slammed her hood to
Close it shut, and got her back on course
I landed in the town of Burning Fork slightly after six, found Joe’s Garage and Mini
Mart, hoped that there I’d find a fix.
I said hello and told old Joe my car was needing some attention, she’d blown a
Hose- thrown a belt, quick repair my best intention
Joe wiped his brow with a greasy towel, wringed his hands as if in sorrow, but I’m
Sorry son, the parts won’t come, until after four tomorrow
Told me there’s a place to eat across the street, Maggie’s Eatery and Hotel
So I took a seat, smelled fresh eats, then rang that dinner bell
Bacon, sausage and four eggs- sourdough toast tangy orange marmalade,
My spirits were sky high, farmer fresh- just like Mom’s homemade
Yes chilli size, a big o ’side of fries, calf liver fried up with onions; green beans with
Ham, a thick slice of spam- Heard chocolate cake might cure my bunions
Large strawberry shake, a mixture of fresh fruits, chicken Chow Mein over egg
Noodles, with slivered bamboo shoots- don’t forget a fortune cookie
She could tell by my order I was starving, asking a for quite a lot, so I explained in
Momentary detail, all about the shiny- polished spot
Worn upon my backbone from my stomach rubbing upon it with great fury; no
Disrespect, don’t tally up that check, I’m famished but in no great hurry.
Maggie laid a check at my plate that fateful date, my excuse was awkwardly hard
Dug in my pockets, eyes bulging their sockets: had no cash; no credit card
I told her my tale of highway grief, managed out of that tight spot; I gave her my
Best smile, I gave the moment my best shot
If I may stay I’ll make you a deal, potatoes and onions I will peel, come morning
Scrub your pots and pans, smooth as harbor seal
I’ll work hard, you bet, I’ll pay off my debt-if it takes me until late cold November,
I don’t even recall she objected at all, just a smile I’ll forever remember
Thirty years has passed by, since I capped that meal with sliced apple pie, to live
Out my dreams in Burnt Fork endlessly
Maggie and I were soon after wed, my dinner check I have twice daily read
Probably will till the day I meet my maker
But until that day arrives I’m a husband to my wife Maggie’s great surprise- one
Heck of a cook and a baker

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floorman2012

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"Let every word tell; Make every word count!" Those words were spoken by Ed Fike, editor of editorial page of the San Diego union newspaper in 1981, when I took his night school journalism course at San Diego City College. Mr. Fike had a profound influence on the way I approach writing. I believe he had a profound influence on everyone he met. Anyway, I did not pursue a career in journalism, but instead became a tradesman, earning my living with my hands. Writing is my hobby and pastime.
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