The Encounter

Photo: Tyler Domingue. CC0/Public domain.

The Sparky’s truck ahead
hauling cargo tied by wire
hits a pothole, a wire snaps
slaps the hood
twists in the undercarriage
lodges in a wheel. Not even
a good Samaritan can free it.

I call roadside assistance,
wait hours, no one comes.
The road twists in darkness
streetlights pop on, I think
“This is dumb, I’m not gonna
sit here waiting to be robbed
or way worse, abducted
by little red Republicans!

Remain calm, I say, then
ignite the unholy engine
roll slowly to a station where
surrounded by seven
young black sons, I meet
the Truth, the Eternal One:
His eyes, green sparks
organic mind, mechanical
his turban, royal blue,
gray beard folds forever
under the little counter.

His English is broken:
What you need sir?
I tell him about my car.
Ok, no problem, we do
you come, I help you,
together fix everything.
Before I even get there
on his hands and knees
he is holding a torch, me
on my back now working
clipping the stubborn wire
half an hour, finally it’s free.

In the Almighty’s mini store
my grateful wallet opens for
wine, Reese’s, bread, cheese
I give thanks, fill my tank, leave.
Next day, we meet at Costco,
He beams, motions me over
utters in perfect King’s English
“Don’t tell anyone you know
who I Am, they’ll humor you, see
cracks in a pot, call you nutters.”

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