Our Money’s Worth

by Michael Miller

Michael Miller

Saturday at the Honda dealer,
two more errands to go,
we park it for the last time
and wet a tissue to rub the stain
from the frayed plastic top of the key.

In a bright, hot office,
we smile wanly at the numbers:
200,000 miles without a breakdown
worth $1,500 when traded in.
As the woman explains the spreadsheet
(no bargain in the offing),

the frail man through the glass door
widens an eye to meet the headlamp
he steadies his thin rag to shine.
In our thirties now,
we have logged enough milestones
to know not to dwell on new ones,

and so when the woman sighs
Two hundred thousand without a breakdown,
we nod that, yes, the dealers served it well —
snow tires in Connecticut
and lubes on the desert drives,
no seam on the side mirror from the shop
after the hit-and-run at the curb.

A signature now, two hard handshakes
and we toast with bottled water
to what did not let us down —
no Jim or Luke or Pedro
here in factory clothes to thank in person,
luck the only name we can give
to what kept each wheel steady,
the brakes resilient and tight.

Last updated March 20, 2023