The Mechanic



The great mechanics are
and gifted with the confidence
that everything can be repaired
(except rot).
There is no cure for rust
which sooner or later claims us all.


When cars go awry
their owners can be at times like
a junkie without a fix (until they are mobile again).
We are a race of petroleum addicts, a generation dependent
upon going where and when we choose.
The cars themselves need
(as they age) a medicine man,
a shaman versed in the ebony arts of repair.
Tires wear,
                        oils cloud,
                                                brakes frazzle,
metal fatigues, fluids leak…
sometimes the cars won’t start,
sometimes they won’t stop.
Cars are rolling laboratories
for electrical, mechanical, and industrial engineering.
Puzzles for physicists and chemists alike.
As one man sang,
“God bless me and damn my car….”*
They are
                      the steel ponies of the twentieth century.
Some day soon
internal combustion engines will be but a memory
and these days will be history like the days of the steam locomotive
and the Conestoga wagon……
The Mustang and Camaro
will be as nostalgic as six guns in the wild west…

Century twenty-one totters forward…
the local shaman
smudged with various oils,
magician in a tobacco cloud,
healer of inanimate beings,
turned his last wrench.
a hole in the village.

*(Chuck McDermott and Wheatstraw)