He spends part of an afternoon and the following
morning with my daughter’s car and tells me nothing
is urgent. It’s an old car, but it should run okay
for now. Check the oil every week or so. 

He charges me nothing—my being a regular
customer. I dig two twenties from my wallet
and tell him I am not all that faithful.
Oh, he says smiling, eyebrows raised.

His hands and face are smudged black with work.
A line of older cars parked outside the shop
await attention. In the 1950s, my father bought
a new car every three years or so.

Mine is thirteen, and I hope to squeeze another
year or two—My mechanic went to high school
with my youngest daughter. He is a modern day
blacksmith working in the shade of an elm.

I find myself thinking about when we moved
from horses to cars. It happened overnight.

first published in Red River Review