In the Old Packard 

Maybe a hand-me-down from Uncle B,

smells like a garage. Surely he’d found it,

fixed it up, tinkered with it, passed it on.

Room enough for the whole carpool to school.


Once the heavy beast slid down an icy hill

as my mother tried everything—brake,

steering wheel, horn, all as impotent

as she. I can still feel that quiet slide.


Somehow on the way to visit the Concord

grandparents, a door swung wide

and my brother Stephen fell onto the curb

on the Alewife Bridge, his chin bloody.


I learned the body could be sewn back up

as cloth that tears can be made whole,

just a seam, a small scar left. No words

for awe, just a sting called jealousy.