My Stepfather’s Cars

When my stepfather returned
from the machine shop, all
he wanted to do was get under
the hood or chassis of a junked car
in his backyard, trying, against
the odds to fix it with parts
taken from other cars and failing
over and over. What did it all
come to? Where was the world,
and where was poetry? I couldn’t
wait to get away from that house
far from town, yet now, an old man,
I see that I never left it, living
apart from others while I work
each day on a poem, raiding
junked drafts for parts and trying
against the odds to make it run.

Hear Wes McNair read this poem.