Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

God, Dad and Cars by David J. Bauman

I’m 8 years old, perched
on a headlight under the raised hood
of our white four-door Chevy,

which has somehow stranded us
at Uncle Bob’s farm.
But this isn’t like the time before,

in Canada, when we broke down
along a country road, far from home.
Across the back seat Crystal and I

had played cards with mom while you
paced, and raged how God must hate
you. I wondered, why you thought

He’d bother a little family like ours,
only on vacation. Wouldn’t He
have more important things to do?

No one home at the farm,
but you know where the tools are—
your hands gloved in grease.

You are in control, under sweat
and sun. I hold something in place
while you work. Afterwards,

when the engine cranks,
you thank me, slap me on the back.
“Thank God you were here,” your smile

wide and rare as the words you say:
“I couldn’t have done it without you.
I couldn’t have done it without you.”


13 thoughts on “God, Dad and Cars by David J. Bauman

  1. David’s poems have found their way into various student and faculty journals over the years. He was awarded an honorable mention in The Best of the Net, as well as the Savage Poetry Prize from Bloomsburg University and the Academy of American Poets. He write regularly about the joys of fatherhood, nature, and poetry, The Dad Poet at http://DadPoet.WordPress.com, which also features a heavy emphasis on the value of reading poems out loud.

  2. I love this poem. I can honestly say that I too have had an experience like this with my own father and you do a moment like that justice. A timeless moment indeed.

  3. How great to have the words from your father that you’re needed – in fact he couldn’t do without you! A wonderful memory and validation when you’re an eight year old boy and can carry the thought with you as long as you live. I am touched by this powerful poem!

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  6. David, I really like this poem. I am especially fond of the closing line, “I couldn’t have done it without you.” Even when there have been sadder, scarier, more negative moments in the past, we always need moments like the one in your poem to hold on to.

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