Elizabeth W. Garber

POETRY-January + February 2011
Poem by Elizabeth W. Garber
Edited by Christopher Seid
Artwork by Trevor Spaulding


“The Tow Truck Driver’s Story”

You meet all kinds of people in this work.
You have to be polite, twenty-four hours
a day. It was a brutal winter night,
I’d worked since four a.m., finally coming in
to sleep when the phone rang, a guy calling
from up on Appleton Ridge, saying
he needs a jump. I asked, “Can’t it wait?
There’s still snow on the roads, the plows aren’t
all through. It’ll take me three hours at least
to get there with the roads like this.” “Ok,”
he said,  “I’ll wait.” I went to bed an hour
before he called, “It’s an emergency.”
The storm had eased as I headed out,
but the wind had been so bad, I had
to stop and climb over the drifts to knock
the snow off signs to see where to go,
a hard dark climb up to Appleton Ridge.
Over three hours to get to a lonely
country farmhouse, light glowing brightly.
Then a man in, I kid you not, a red
satin smoking jacket comes out and waves.
I think he’s waving to me, and wave back,
but it’s a garage opener and out of the dark
a door rises, lit like a museum,
a car, glittering white and chrome beauty,
it was a 1954 Mercedes.
A Gull-Wing. You ever heard of them?
I think they only made ten of them.
Its doors lift up like a gull in flight.
I bet it was worth a million dollars.
I ask, “Are you going to take that out?”
“Oh, no, we just got back from Jamaica
I want a jump to make sure it’s ok.”
It starts like a dream, purrs dangerously.
“Oh good,” he says and walks away, waving
his arm to close the door, never saying
a word. Left me standing there in the snow.

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