The Ballad of Old Nellie

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So this is how the end comes
for this 1938 Model. Breakdowns—
at first minor—a little stiffness around

the brake rotors. Then the radiator: its
fluids won’t run smoothly anymore;
in fact,

on more than one occasion the entire
body refused to run because of a dead battery.
Into the body shop—an expensive, desperate place

no one goes to happily. The mechanics remove
a couple of feet of the offending pipe, and mend
Old Nellie with a little solder. Then the engine

clogs up and major repairs are needed—new lines
and connections; the air return had to be cut off
it was so rusty. Now it’s the extra fluids sludging up

engine and air circulator, another can of anti-sludge
is tossed down its gullet. The carburetor, the brains
of the beast, loses its hold so that the battery fails

and has to be charged more often; It no longer recognizes 
familiar instructions and goes into
the wrong gear or doesn’t move.

The main question is, do I junk the old babe?
Keep fixing her, thin as her skin and bones may be. 
But unless the brain can be restored, what does any of it matter?


Published in: on November 8, 2009 at 2:35 am  Leave a Comment  

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