“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.