Monday, February 28, 2022

But It's Only a Car

“But it’s only a car,” my husband said.

Reminding me the three-year lease

Would be ending in a few weeks.


I would stall as long as possible,

Make excuses for not responding to

Trade-in inquiries by email from the young salesman

Who sold me the car. 


“I like my car. I don’t want a new one.”

I pleaded to my husband.


“It’s leased, we have to turn it in!” he replied,

Frustrated with my inability to consider the car as only a vehicle,

A means of transportation 

And not a place of containment.


The car is my friend, my companion,

Always present when people are not.

Ready to hold when intense emotions



My car is not like my favorite twenty-year old sweater,

Missing two buttons, 

Strands of yarn

Worming out of a few holes at the elbow,

Tucked away on a shelf in my closet,

So I can pull it out and wear when I need comfort

Companionship, consistency, familiarity.

My car won’t fit in the attic or

On the shelf next to my ragged sweater.


The lease ends tomorrow.


My trusted, ever available source

Of comfort

Will go to the dealer to fulfill a

Legal commitment.

I should have written a note to the next driver. 


Am I the only one who understands the value

Of a well-formed piece of metal

To hold a struggling heart?


Forced to face the reality of what must come,

Each day I have emptied contents

From my trunk, glove compartment, and passenger seats.

Stacks of masks looped around the gear shift.

Tablet of paper and pencil in the passenger seat

Ready for thoughts as they surface.

Canvases from my canceled art show resting in the back seat

Stayed in the car, not ready to go home.

My gym bag behind the driver’s seat,

Stuffed with towels, shampoo, and hairdryer,

Waiting for the Y to re-open.

My family jokes my car is my second home.

It is.


My personal effects will be in a grocery bag

When I go to the counter to hand over the keys,

But part of my heart will remain in the piece of metal,

Locked behind the doors

Buckled into the seat

That carried me for three years.


{A special note for Jacquie Reed's faithful readers.... Jacquie enjoyed writing as a way to express her insights and share her creativity but also as a way to more deeply connect with the people she held dear. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the topics in her posts and interacting with her ideas and art while she was living. This post was written and scheduled by Jacquie in the weeks before her unexpected death on November 5, 2021. Her remaining posts will publish every two weeks from now through the end of February 2022. Please feel free to respond with your memories of Jacquie in the comments. May the words she left behind minister to you as you grieve her passing and remember her life. You can find her obituary here.}

1 comment:

  1. Fortunately, I can report that she came to like her new car in the time that she had it.