Rebuilding the ’63 Beetle by Nancy Krim


“Rebuilding the ’63 Beetle” by Nancy Krim


The engine needs rebuilding he said

and she said I’ll do it.

But what about the camshaft?

She said I can see it slipping there,

sliding against the pulley

I can see where the problem is.

He said you’ll never get it down

off the blocks to tow it,

you won’t know where to order parts,

how to disassemble

I know all about dissembling, she said.

I’ve done it all my life.

And what I really know is auto mechanics.

I have my father’s hands

and this is a pre-electronic car,

runs on leaded fuel,

heats up on pure exhaust.

I know how to jack it up, ease it down,

pump the tires,

charge the battery, 

lubricate the plugs and points.

I know a ratchet from an Allen wrench,

generator from ignition coil.

I don’t mind grease under my nails

and I have more time

than you can possibly imagine.

I put the first mile on the odometer without you

and I will be the one at the wheel for the last.

I won’t fix it quick and

I won’t fix it quiet,

But I will fix it, she said.



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Nancy Krim Artist Statement:

I spent my working life as an English teacher, guiding high school students to an
awareness of the power of words, both as tools of self-expression and as pathways to exploring
themselves, their world. Though teaching was my day job, writing was always my passion. I
wrote to find myself and to save myself.

Over time, I found that poems were the most natural containers for my thoughts; I learned
all I could about the possibilities of poetry and developed the confidence to turn my classrooms
into writing workshops. I earned an MFA in poetry while teaching full time, used my summers to
study and write.

My purposes as a poet/writer have changed over time, but some constants remain: I write
to resurrect what has been lost, to capture what is striking in the present—either strikingly
beautiful or terrible.

Author: A Room of Her Own

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