The other night
I was driving home
when my check engine light
lit up.

A vague orange warning
blinked on next to my odometer.
I was irritated,
but not surprised.

I knew something was wrong.
I could feel it in the ignition,
idle and acceleration
something was completely off.

But why now? Why this light
in the middle of the night,
when little -nothing
could be done about it?

Should I pull over?
No. It’s dark out.
Maybe when I get home, I’ll take a look.
I’ll pop the hood and see
what good I can do.

Who am I kidding?
I don’t know anything about cars.
Maybe if go to bed
it’ll be better in the morning.

Be it fever
or overheating,
the cool night and some
rest ought to help.

But what if it’s worse?
What if I can’t make it
to work on time
or at all?

I can’t do much without my car
this city has spread too far
in all directions.
My independence depends
on a working vehicle.

Mine shouldn’t be that bad
it’s only 32 years old
with just a couple
hundred thousand miles on it.
That’s nothing these days.