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September 2017, vol 13 no 3

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Michael H. Lester

Mother Knows Best

The old 1954 Ford overheats and I don't know why. I'm no mechanic, but I'm no dummy, either. I put more antifreeze in the radiator. It's a beautiful iridescent color, but the warning label says not to drink it. I wasn't planning on it. I'm no chemist, but I'm no dummy, either.

the mysteries
of the Universe . . .
we turn left

Steam rises from the front of the car, so we pull over. I lift the hood with no clue what I am looking for. My mother suggests we remove the plastic sheet covering the radiator – maybe that has something to do with the overheating problem. She also says she thinks antifreeze is for the winter. Frustrated and embarrassed at my lack of mechanical ability, I quickly dismiss her suggestions. She's my mother and she doesn't drive! Does she honestly think she knows more than I do about cars and overheating?

a sprout
reaches toward the sun . . .
milkweed blocks the view

We make it to a gas station to add more water and antifreeze. The attendant – they had attendants in those days – says you know, you don't need to cover the radiator with plastic in the summer and antifreeze is for the winter.

The ride home takes forever.