Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry: Starting the Subaru at Five Below
Edited and introduced by Wesley McNair, Maine Poet Laureate
Anyone who has had trouble starting the car on winter mornings in Maine will find encouragement in today’s poem by Stuart Kestenbaum of Deer Isle.
Starting the Subaru at Five Below by Stuart Kestenbaum
After 6 Maine winters and 100,000 miles, when I take it to be inspectedI search for gas stations where they just say beep the horn and don’t ask me toput in on the lift, exposing its soft rusted underbelly. Inside is the recordof commuting: apple cores, a bag from McDonald’s, crusted Dunkin’ Donuts cups,a flashlight that doesn’t work and one that does, gas receipts blurred beyondrecognition. Finger tips numb, nose hair frozen, I pump the acceleratorand turn the key. The battery cranks, the engine gives 2 or 3 low groans andstarts. My God it starts. And unlike my family in the house, the job I’mheaded towards, the poems in my briefcase, the dreams I had last night, there isno question about what makes sense. White exhaust billowing from the tail pipe,heater blowing, this car is going to move me, it’s going to take me places.
Take Heart: A Conversation in Poetry is produced in collaboration with the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance. Poem copyright © 2010 Stuart Kestenbaum. Reprinted from Maine in Four Seasons, Down East Books, 2010, by permission of Stuart Kestenbaum. Questions about submitting to Take Heart may be directed to Gibson Fay-LeBlanc, Special Consultant to the Maine Poet Laureate, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-228-8263. Take Heart: Poems from Maine, an anthology collecting the first two years of this column, is now available from Down East Books.