Poetry: single mom or standard of living

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single mom or standard of living

in the days when you were new
we had the best intentions we drove
all air-conditioned never a window
cracked the slightest soothing music
and long drives to lull your spirited
self to sleep never mind the price of gas
the mileage whatever made you drift and
if i locked the keys in the car with you i
just broke a hundred-dollar window
it was summer in El Paso after all and one
week it happened twice that’s two hundred
dollars i sure could use now but there was no
one to call then there’s no one now but I had
two hundred then you know now we drive
with open windows senses tuned to subtle shifts
in engine scents exhaust whispers transmission
taps would you call that a clack or a knock
the two of us scanning medians lights traffic speed
exits should the coolant fail did we bring water
turn the music down so we can hear the truck
that ford added too much oil see all the smoke
we sniff for gas or burn buy flimsy newspapers
for fifty cents from vendors who drink eight-dollar cups
of coffee yes thankfully you are over those and wise
enough to get that driving past Burger King
even though i cannot cook worth a damn has left us
at the end of the month with a little extra