A Poem by Kevin J. McDaniel

Oil Change

 

Cars swarmed archways

of the station where

the receptionist instructed

I pull beside the Nissan,

which I translated to mean

the big silver slug parked

behind the tiny blue,

 

before handing me

a folded paper

with a number stamped

in the corner,

so I could take my seat

in the congested waiting area

 

alongside

a college kid working a Rubik’s Cube

and a pregnant woman,

in green tank-top

and Daisy Dukes, bending over

to tell her toddler

be patient and wait

while the rest of us pretended

to be engrossed with Olympians jogging laps

on the mounted big screen.

 

Early that morning,

each driver drafted a shrewd plot

to avoid the rush,

but fate

put us in this purgatory

to learn

from mechanics

whose diagnostics showed

we had more problems than a routine

oil change could fix

on a Friday.

 

 

 

 

Kevin J. McDaniel lives in Pulaski, Virginia, with his wife, two daughters, and two old chocolate Labs. To date, his work has appeared, or forthcoming, in Appalachian Heritage Writers Symposium, Artemis Journal, Broad River Review, Clinch Mountain Review, Common Ground Review, Floyd County Moonshine, Freshwater Literary Journal, GFT Press, Gravel, JuxtaProse, The Cape Rock, The Main Street Rag, and others. His recent chapbook, Family Talks, was published by Finishing Line Press in 2017.

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