Check Engine

he check engine light
constant as the North Star
in the dashboard constellation

an ignored warning on the black and orange horizon
where glowing indicators and digital numbers
twinkle, silent and constant, from the metal, plastic, circuitry

occasional grunts and groans mixed in from the beyond
among the grumbles of the living engine, struggling
like we all do over the hill, the burden of gravity

wheels rattling over the same pitted pavement
between here and there, star stuff the dust on the hood,
a cosmos of a thousand small paint scratches

and in the cabin the odometer spirals,
getting closer to the end as the numbers grow,
bad news deferred until the go is gone.

* * * * *

Kimberly L. Wright, an editor of a small weekly newspaper, lives in Prattville, Ala., USA. Her poetry has previously appeared in Dicat Libre, El Locofoco, Doggerel, Arrowsmith and Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure.  She is klwright73 on Twitter. Her other contributions to Snake-Oil Cure can be found here.