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On Selling the Family Car
Steven Givler


Send me some nice young couple
With a toddler, or a baby on the way
I may even let them talk me down
Not some saggy-pants hipster
With metal in his face
Or I'll find new ways to raise my price
Let this car haul groceries
And students of piano
Not some screaming late-night teens
Those new parents will try as I did
(with the same limited success)
To keep the seats from growing sticky
And to defeat the rising tide
Of cracker crumbs and toys from Happy Meals
That boy though, who will not meet my eyes
Who would not think to call me sir
Will spill beer on the upholstery
Where, just yesterday it seems
An overturned juice box
Spelled disaster
I cleaned it one last time
Folding down the seats and vacuuming beneath them
And found myself an archeologist
Of my own family history
A cheddar goldfish
Petrified, and rimed with fuzz
A penny and a marble
Each artifacts of its particular age
Our family history
Spelled out in layers of debris
Disappeared into the vacuum cleaner
But resides forever in my mind
That bright new couple
May think me a fool for giving them my car
But it's the price I gladly pay
Slave as I am, to memory


Copyright by Steven Givler. 
Used with the author's permission.


Steven Givler is an artist, writer, and language specialist. He lives in Germany and Italy, and he has also made his home in Greece, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Portugal. Steven's book for children, The Ravens Build the Softest Nest, illustrated with his own watercolor paintings, is awaiting publication, and two of his short stories appear in the anthology, Operation Homecoming, from Random House. Learn more about Steven and see his paintings at


Post New Comment:
A long-lost ear-ring came out of the fuzz!! I got a lot of remembering out of this delightful poem
Posted 08/03/2014 02:05 AM
ckelly: I like the cheddar goldfish and the careless teens.
Posted 08/02/2014 11:01 AM
I look forward to reading your book when it's published.
Posted 08/01/2014 11:26 PM
Posted 03/03/2013 12:49 AM

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