Flat

The sun was low in the clear cold sky
in late November when I pulled off
the busy four lane highway
with a flat: rear, driver’s side

There was almost no shoulder
rush hour was just starting
I had to find the jack location
under the rockerpanel before
it got too dark to see the mark

Cars were ripping by inches away
at zoom doppler speed and the
wind chill they generated was going
to numb my fingers down to fumbling
ice lumps or drive me down to
core shaking dizzy dropping hypothermia
before I could finish assembling the jack
placing it in the sweet spot under the
rocker panel jacking and wrenching
and searching for the special lugwrench
for the one wierd lug that kept anyone
including me from removing the floppy tire
Knowing I would be warm and secure
in my car, I had left without gloves
without a hat without a heavy coat
right away my fingers were as dextrous
as frozen carrots my ears — which I had
once frozen until they looked like aircraft wings
with ice wooly crystals and in need of deicing
before I could be cleared for takeoff —
were freezing and every other item on my checklist
was cold colder coldest roger and out

I was on a curve with a narrow shoulder
drivers could not see me until the last
instant it was getting darker as the sun
moved lower in the sky. I was wondering
if I would finish before somebody on
an important cell phone call would
decide the issue by wiping me away
from my task.

I did finish, and I did pull back onto
the road and drove to the exit
a little way down the road on the silly
low speed emergency donut tire
which got me home two hours later

On the way, the sun hung incredibly bright
behind me, as if putting a spotlight on
a very foolish driver who will forever after
take warm clothes, flares, and
check tire pressure on cold days.

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About riverwriter

Poet, playwright, duplicate bridge player, website designer, cottager, husband, father, grandfather, former athlete, carpenter, computer helper for my friends, theatre designer, backstage polymath, retired teacher of highschool English, drama, art, a baritone singer in a barbershop quartet, who knows what else? wordcurrents is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wordcurrents/ Doug also has a Facebook page, "Incognitio", related to his novels.
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