My old Volvo is gone now, victim
of the water that poured in from the lake
and rose in the yard when the levees broke.
It was two decades old, its paint a cracked
and faded gray, body dinged and crumpled
from outings of teens, with broken AC (but
plenty of heat; chilly Swedes saw to that)
and a long-dead horn and uncertain lights
and a floorboard hole on the driver’s side
covered with a duct-taped remnant of rug.
Still, it had gotten me to work and bar
and hardware store for many years, and if
it had faults, it was faithful, in its way.
And when the tow-truck driver hoisted it
to the bed of his truck and tied it down
a trickle of water from its exhaust
pooled in the street: final vestige of flood.
As the truck pulled away, for one last time
I stared at the mute pleas I had pasted
on the bumper: a veteran for Kerry
wanted the driver behind to hang up
his cell phone and drive and vote for Al Gore--
with car and its driver, lost causes, all.