[from David Bromige's Desire: Selected Poems, 1963-1987, Dutton, 1989]
The Romance of the Automobile
It's dark. But there's a moon. You're lonely.
You've got me. You can't stay where you are.
You don't give me a thought, & climb inside
turn me on, & off we go,
me all around you, moving you
while you sit still, up & down
the ground I keep you lifted from,
across the distance that your friends call you.
Though I can't see
with these things much like eyes
I let you find the way.
Let you see what you might hit & miss.
Let you feel you're in control.
Let you make me go so fast
you can't control me quite as well,
or maybe not at all.
So I get you where you go.
And if it's where you planned,
I've sheltered you from what came down,
proved useful, helped save a life maybe,
unless someone like you got in our way.
You've felt a strength, obeying me
while free to think of things along the way.
An irritation or anxiety,
if something's wrong with me,
that is, if I need fixing.
And here we are. You can get out,
and stretch, as though to throw me off,
as though I were around you, yet
I'm evidently not. You've turned me off,
locked me up, pocketed the key
and left me in the dark.
You've got me where you want me.
As if I were a car.