Ode to a Dart
Tommy should create a shrine to the Dart. On that shrine shouldbe the following poem, cast in bronze.
It was an early day in Spring.
Felt good to be alive.
Tommy's son and friends went out
For a short Spring drive.
They chose the Dart, the old Dodge Dart,
To take them on their way.
And that old car was happy so
To be their choice that day.
That old car just purred with joy,
And nearly honked with glee.
For old cars have their memories,
Just like you and me.
These days, the Dart was past its prime;
Torn vinyl, rusted steel.
But old cars have a soul inside.
They think and they can feel.
The Dart remembered days gone by,
With its top rolled down,
When it gave joy rides in the spring,
The envy of the town.
Oh, those days were glorious!
Hot wax and polished chrome.
The Dart turned heads at every stop,
Then took its loved ones home.
They came upon a traffic light
And stopped to rest a spell.
The sun shone bright. The air was clear.
And all the world seemed well.
In front, a local ambulance
Sat waiting for the light.
Behind, a snowplow came up fast...
And something wasn't right.
The snowplow honked, careened and veered.
"Watch out, for goodness' sake!"
Something had gone terribly wrong:
The snowplow had no brakes.
And then the sky turned sickly still,
As though Spring's bubble popped.
The bird's sweet singing stuck in air.
It seemed like time had stopped.
It's hard to say how cars know things.
Somehow, that old car knew
That Tom's son's life was on the line,
And its choices were so few.
There really wasn't any time
To weigh the options now.
In front, there was the ambulance.
In back, there was the plow.
The moment had such horror
To give one's blood a chill.
The plow's twin klaxons blared and blared.
The ambulance stood still.
Deep within its rusted heart,
Dart knew what must be done.
Without seat belts and no air bags,
It must rescue Tommy's son.
And, oh, that sound, that awful sound
Of crushing steel and glass.
The Dart took all that snowplow's force,
Faithful to the last.
Who knows where that old car found
Such strength within its rust.
A lesser car would have thrown the towel
And crumbled into dust.
Perhaps the thought its days were few
Helped to quell its fears.
That brave old car was 36--
90 in human years. (see footnote)
The universe holds mysteries
We can scratch and we can comb.
The only thing we really know
Is, Tommy's son came home.
Somewhere in the Great Beyond,
The sun is shining bright.
The gasoline is plentiful.
There is no rust to fight.
The pavement's always clean and dry
In that land above.
And cherished autos gleam and shine,
Polished by clouds of love.
Tommy's heart is broken now.
An emptiness remains.
For, in the spot where Dart once sat,
There's nought but oil stains.
But Tommy knows there is a place
Where old dogs and autos go.
A place where cars are pampered
And once dim headlights glow.
And if ever a car earned winner's lap
After its earthly race,
That old Dodge Dart deserved to go
To that Eternal Parking Space.
- Footnote: The premise that the ratio of human years to automobileyears is 2.5/1 is without any scientific merit whatsoever. Itmerely serves the author's purpose at this time, thereforefalling within the respected category of poetic license.
Ray's Dartre Poem, read on air May 1, 1999
At a junkyard out near Concord, where our nation got its start,Lay the crumpled, shattered body of what was a proud Dodge Dart.
First hours, then days and weeks passed by,The Dart not yet knowing its fate.But then it knew the end was near when that flatbed passed the gate.
Like soldiers, all its rusted mates bid the Dart a fond farewell,For it was making that final journey into the jaws of hell.
Then into the auto shredder, with its massive jaws of steel,The Dart was slowly lowered, nothing more than that hour's meal.
Its fist-sized pieces now bound for Steeltown, South Korea,Like a phoenix it will rise again as a Hyundai or a Kia.