Laura Rodley, Pushcart Prize winner is a quintuple Pushcart Prize nominee, and quintuple Best of Net nominee.
Latest books Turn Left at Normal by Big Table Publishing and Counter Point by Prolific Press.
Grease spot on his cheek,
mechanic spotlights the chassis
sprung above his head, held up
on the lift; is being short
enough to fit under the lift
a mechanic’s requisite?
He pinpoints rust, no holes,
he pats the chassis of the Buick,
a car old enough to be a teenager
smoking cigarettes and making babies.
It’s my life he’s inspecting
underneath the car, oil on his fingers,
my safety, my legs the car is holding,
will hold, so much birthing and leaving-
my mother left in the passenger seat,
drove herself and the car out of gas, and here
the mechanic says, good shape
for its age, solid, which is all I wanted:
my mother to be solid before me
for the rest of her natural life,
buying a car, or buying my mother,
all the money my four year old hands
did not have to bring her back
to make her alive again, keep her alive, safe.
It’s January and God forbid
he should wait for you to check the stove,
that the cat is inside the house
that there is water in his bowl
that the dryer door is closed
so the cat doesn’t get inside it
and close it on himself,
that the toaster is unplugged
as well as the Christmas tree lights
and the two rolling heaters
and the washing machine lever
is turned to the left, off,
so the incoming water pipe doesn’t explode
from water pressure as the plumber warned it could
if you left it in the on position.
God forbid you were fooling
with your makeup, which you weren’t,
you were looking for the cat
who hides when you are leaving
and there he stands,
key jammed in the door
fuming since you haven’t left yet,
and because he’s fuming
you have to find the cat fast
and he’s invisible, and
so is the man’s anger
but it’s not, steam is
coming out his ears,
but you have to make
sure the house is safe
before you leave,
you can’t leave anyone behind.