Diane Hine (25 July 1956)
Buying a Car
I wanted a car when I wearied of walking.
With savings in hand, I left home to peruse.
The dealer was helpful, bright-eyed and fast-talking.
He offered two models from which I could choose.
The first looked immaculate, surfaces gleaming,
compared to the other, defaced by a scratch.
"The price is the same", said the car dealer, beaming.
I deemed him unscheming, so asked "What's the catch"?
He mumbled and hemmed as he opened each bonnet.
I missed all his words, for the squeak of the hood.
While first engine, seamless, had no mark upon it,
the other was patchwork of iron and wood.
The first car, he promised, would cause me no worry,
the makers long trusted with local renown.
He offered a test drive, said "No need to hurry,
as long as you stay within limits of town".
I took up the offer and signed on a paper.
The engine was purring and swift to respond.
But being a person who's fond of a caper,
I passed the town's limits and ventured beyond.
From then on the engine desisted from purring.
It coughed a smoke hairball and came to a halt.
The dealer arrived with a tow-truck, incurring
a fee charged to me since he judged it my fault.
He frowned and seemed puzzled, said "If you must ramble,
the other car's needed for leaving our town.
I have to inform, you'd be taking a gamble.
It's not a smooth ride and it sometimes breaks down".
I nodded and said "I accept the conditions",
then paid him in dollars and signed in the space.
And that was beginning of my expeditions
which took me here, there and all over the place.
The dealer told true, there are frequently glitches
with rattles and rumbles and things that go ping.
Mechanics repair it with staples and stitches,
or bright shiny gadgets or widgets or string.
I sometimes pass towns where the locals are driving
their own perfect models which never give strife.
Though bound to their towns, they appear to be thriving,
but this car will do, for a wandering life.
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