I got this old car
runs great
but it’s got no hood ornament
Some beer-gorged ‘kicker
twisted it off soon after I bought it
so I’ve always wished I
had another hood ornament to
replace it
Something eye-catching
like a rocketship
or a cow skull
or a sphinx
So today I’m prowling the junkyards
in the scalding summer heat
choking through clouds of dust
fingers scorched by hot rusted metal
The yard is a maze of discarded freezers
towers of cubed cars
sandblasted trailers
ancient cranes
and miles of useless pipes and tubing
There is a mountain of broken toys
a desert of smashed radios
a canyon of fenders and tailgates
The old man who runs the yard
has dyed red hair
and wears overalls with
"Keep on Truckin’" patches on them
Inside his grungy office
he keeps faded photos of his grandkids
and sells unreadable romances
and scratched 45s
After 96 minutes
I find my hood ornament
It is a howling wolf
carved from glacial ice
so cold it will never melt
It reflects and refracts
every beam of light into spiraling rainbows
The old man sells it to me for
a buck-fifty
and I drive away
with a cool breeze in my face