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The World According To Ben Part 22 ...Sympathy For An Abandoned Grand Wagoneer


“The Greening Of The Grand Wagoneer”

(Free Verse)

Pleased to report: The roof rack is in full bloom! White flower clusters droop Over the side rails. Vines spiral around the B-pillar, In and out and about, Where the safety glass on the driver’s side Used to be. An orange fruit pod, Oddly ahead of schedule in ripening, Seems to stare at itself in The outside rearview mirror. “Am I the best of all possible fruit pods?” It apparently asks— Or would if it were capable of Curiosity… wonder… anxiety… self doubt. No such complications Afflict this metal golem of The Later Reagan Years And the greenery and fauna that now Call it home. All is perfect in and of itself. Perfectly faded. Perfectly rusty. Perfectly flat, with cracked sidewalls Perfectly inert. Insert the key. Turn it. Nothing happens. No charge in the battery And the engine may well be frozen anyway. Or, at least, clogged with Chipmunk nests. Rodents love this thing.

Several dozen generations of groundhog Have emerged from the right front wheel well. Squirrels have surmounted the hood And left chestnut half-shells atop The chrome-lipped power bulge in the center. Beyond that, Decades of time, sun, rain, snow, Sleet, wildlife, plant life and Human neglect have done a diminuendo On the fine factory paint— Once Sun Yellow (3467); now Beige (3826). Raccoon claw marks remain visible Years after they were inflicted In the now flaking fake wood paneling Decorating the long, rectilinear sides Of this near-mythical beast that once stood tall On white-letter steel-belted radials but now Crouches, like Cerberus at the Gate, Surrounded by Un-weed-whacked grass, Welcoming the curious and the Spare parts bargain seekers alike To this hillside salvage yard. Although as utterly unnatural as anything can be, It has found its place in the eternal ongoing… The living/breathing/dying/rotting as originally intended. It has surrendered itself to the arms of the wild, And seems vastly more satisfied As a centerpiece among wisteria and bees and American bittersweet and English ivy And June bugs and butterflies And the occasional berry-picking Cedar waxwing Than it ever was in its Prior life, at night, With all the bright lights on, Sucking air, Guzzling Hi-Test unleaded, Farting out unburned hydrocarbons, Transporting well-to-do Drunk gun-toting guys in designer jeans Across local fields In search of unwary deer While their backseat ladies, equally liquefied, Bounce around topless, Showing off their breasts, Playing teasing tonsil hockey In the rearview Because the boys like it… That’s all over now. Virginia creeper holds both Overbuilt off-road axles, Front and rear, In its firm, woody embrace… Home truly being where The ones who want you most Wrap themselves around you And never willingly let you go.

© Verse-Case Scenario, LLC 2018

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I get to see this magnificent monument all year long, in any kind of weather, regardless of the season, along the side of Dridge Hill Road between Brickerville and Brunnerville. I must further note that there’s been a bit of upkeep: someone has at last removed the paint-faded wood stepstool from the hood.

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