Poetry Thursday: 50,002 miles

I waited

for weeks
for that odometer to roll
over:
the first 50,000 miles
I’d put on a car
ever.

First EVER.

Not the extra fifty
I helped put
on the family car
or the twenty/ten/five
that got me to fifty
on all of those  
other cars,

50,000 miles,
from zero to five-oh
(save the few it took
to get it from factory
to me),
all by my lonesome.

For months
I guessed at
the rollover date:
in L.A.,
on the 101,
running mundane errands
or my own crazy ass
over the hill and back
for to get my head shrunk?

In the valley of Ojai,
at night, climbing
the hill toward the stars?

On the road in between,
windows down,
singing to the oldies?

As it happened,
I was somewhere on the outskirts
of Sacto,
negotiating my way
through a surprising number
of Sunday drivers
on their way to salvation,
two miles before I had a moment
to look down
and notice.

Fifty-thousand
and two.

I thought about it
all the way
to Bakersfield.

And then,
somewhere on the outskirts
of L.A. County
I realized:
I would remember
Fifty-thousand
and two
far, far longer
than I could have dreamed
I’d remember
five-zero-zero-zero-zero.

xxx
c

Image by Glenn Gutierrez via Flickr, used under a Creative Commons license.

One comment

  1. Nice poem. I recently topped 150K in my car. The last 50K were mine, all mine. (It’s a VW diesel Golf. It will run til doomsday)

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