The Car Battery is Dead

The car battery is dead.
So what?
But it’s much more
than a dead battery.
The battery is dead because
the car has only been driven
once in 9 months.
Driving has become too difficult.
She can no longer manage
the getting of the walking frame
in and out of the car.
And then there’s the oxygen,
the slow growing cataracts,
the balance issue.

“Get rid of the car”
you might say
it was His car…

There’s also her sense of
while it sits in the driveway
she still has a choice.
Maybe one day she’ll feel well enough
to drive to the beach,
it’s only 10 minutes down the road.
Oh how she misses
the sound of the waves,
the scent of the sea,
the feeling of sand underfoot,
the cooling ripple of salt water
ebbing and flowing over her toes.
And what if she runs out of milk one day?
With the car there’s the possibility
she can make it to the local shop.

She would let it sit there
on Thursday they’re coming
for her son’s piano.
She told them they could have it,
wants it to be played again,
it’s going to hurt to watch it go.
No more Memories of Green,
the theme from St Elmo’s Fire,
no more family rounds of Fur Elise.
No “Bottle of white, bottle of red,
perhaps a bottle of rose instead…”
They won’t be able to get the piano out
with the car in the driveway.
She knows it’s pointless
to put another new battery in
if the car’s not going to be driven.

Why must she contemplate
letting go of
her husband’s car,
her son’s piano,
her illusion of independence,
all in one week?
It’s all because
the car battery is dead.

Tricia 9/2014

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on September 7, 2014, in Poems. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. The little events always seem to bring a flood of questions and realizations…peace be with you…the car remains as a lifeline to dreams.

  2. I love this poem, Tricia. The car and the piano are so much more than just a car and a piano …

  3. Oh Tricia. The importance of the car! It is a symbol of freedom and at the same time tied to your happier past. I hope in some way it works for you to hold onto it until you’re ready to give it up. And Ken’s piano…you’re generous to not grasp after that but instead to want it played again. Each little step in letting go must be very hard, but maybe somewhere in all of this there will be a time you can once again put your feet in the sand, and you’ll feel a little lighter. I’m going to really hope for that. ox

  4. An excellent poem on an ever unfolding tragedy. Take care Tricia. The best of luck.

  5. Oh my gosh, there is so much in this poem Tricia! There are so many new challenges and what ripple effects these can cause. They will always be there, and consequently more new things to grieve for. How generous your spirit though, to want the piano to be played again; this must be massively difficult for you. And the car too; I can relate in some way to the car, although mibe only ever belonged to me and that wascbad enough. But so much harder when the car was your husband’s, a great big pile of letting go, and sometimes it all feels too much, especially your loss of freedom. Im sending so many soft hugs for you Tricia; life can be stern and cruel… i love you very much my lovely friend ❤️ Xxx

  6. Hello Tricia – glad not to have missed this poem. Such a sad poem, but well drawn – the little things that illustrate the much bigger picture. Beautiful.

  7. Hello my lovely friend, nothing can ever erase the heart memories…the love remains. ❤ xXx

  8. You are such a beautiful, touching writer. You are not alone on this journey. You have many readers saying prayers and walking with you. Hugs.

  9. This poem is filled with so much heart and poignancy and wistfulness. It’s not the huge moments in life that can get to us; it is the ants in the kitchen that can bring us down. A car is such a tremendous symbol in our lives of freedom and the ability to care for ourselves that when we are denied the use, we lose a part of us.

  10. My apologies to all, I have somehow missed responding to all comments on a couple of poems. I shall try to catch up over the next couple of days. It’s a wonder you all return, but I’m so grateful that you do. 🙂 xx

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