Grandpa’s Ford
By Alexander Johns

I waited too long
to put in motor mounts.
Now the engine sounds
like a rattling throat.
She’s been a good car,
lacking anything in body to attract
but good.

He just gave her to me,
signed over the title
like directions to a new address,
as I feigned young, humble thanks.

I inherited her
militarily clean and
in proud running order,
like the ’32 model
that tempted Grandma away
from a small Carolina town.

(She refused to drive, unladylike,
and never did until
his first heart attack
scared her to the wheel.)

And he was always silent there
while we rode in the back
and she grabbed at the dash
and cursed his inability.
But she would break down first,
though he put all he had into her,
and would leave this passenger side

Then he spoke
in the car
to me
and my brother
and my dad,
on a long road trip to his childhood home,
about Prohibition,
about the Unions,
about the Depression,
about the War,
and then,

about her
and the way she died,
delirious and crying,
“Army! Army!”
and how he climbed
into the bed beside her
and held her in his
until she rattled and stopped.

‘Take her; she’s yours.’


I was born (1970) and raised in Atlanta, GA, but in 1999, after years spent traveling as much as possible and as a round peg in the square hole of urban commerce, I moved to the Athens, GA area, where I received my MA in English Literature from the University of Georgia. I currently teach English at Gainesville College. I've had some poems published by Scrivener's Pen. Many thanks.



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