Traveling Economy Class

by Hugh Timlin, Mt. Pleasant

In the late December rain
the old green van with the red door
The paint job and the weather
mocked the season
as the season mocks us all.

I've seen these people before.
Helped the woman push the truck down the hill
in front of the laundromat,
delaying for one more week
a new battery
in favor of clean clothes.

I've seen them on the side of the road
the five kids fogging up the windows
and drawing something to giggle at.
The woman in the front with the baby
nods to let me know
the old man is on the way.

I see women in the front seats of trucks,
trucks whose paint has turned chalky.
Rusted trucks.
Women in trucks at the side of the road,
sitting with the quiet resignation
of always running on empty.

When they go,
the old trucks rattle on the washboard roads
a rhymeless carol in the late December rain,
Fix it Fix it
if it don't work fix it
work ’till you fix it
if it works

don't fix it.

–Hugh Timlin, Mt. Pleasant

Take me back to the Summer Fiction index. E-mail comments to [email protected]

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