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The Old Jalopy POEM

Ideas exist in things, so the saying goes. This poem owes it's beginnings to a recent sighting of vintage cars driving in a parade through my town. As I stood watching these well preserved senior citizens of the road, my thoughts returned to our first family car all those years ago. We had an Austin A 40 and it was a rather cantankerous machine. It could be relied upon to shake and rattle when asked to travel at any speed above 'slow.' It required constant care and attention and sometimes without warning it would begin a convulsive lurch when out on the highway. 

 So, before I even finished watching the car parade, ideas began forming in my head. The word 'jalopy' floated forward and I found myself immediately in the poem zone. Sometimes a single word is all you need to get ideas flowing. Let me share what I built...

The Old Jalopy

Dad looks stressed
Mum looks stroppy
We're going for a drive
In our old jalopy
Kids pile in
Dogs in tow
Shut the doors
And we're set to go
Turn the key
Pull the choke
There's a great loud bang
And a tiny puff of smoke
Four false starts
Before the engine splutters
Whoops and hollers
Heart's aflutter
Shake and rattle
Lurch and cough
And finally the car takes off!
Down the road
Into town
The wildest ride
For miles around
Dad starts singing
Mum's not stroppy
Oh what fun
In our old jalopy


  1. Oooh. Such a lovely transition at the end. Made me smile!

    1. Thanks for noticing this subtle shift Kat.

  2. What a fun word to build a poem around–Jalopy. I liked the twist at the end too! Oh but all the wonderful rhythm you created here; along with the visuals: you can see it spluttering, hear the bang, and feel the smoke. Thanks for the ride Alan!

    1. Thank you Michelle. Glad you enjoyed the journey.

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Kay. Fun is an element of poetry I enjoy very much.

  4. I love the glorious movement in this poem. Thank you for sharing that memory - in beautiful verse!

    1. Thank you Myra for your most generous remarks. Movement is an ingredient the poem most certainly needed in this instance.

  5. Now that was fun to read! I could well imagine myself in the rumble seat of just such a car, feeling "not stroppy" myself.

    1. Thanks Tara. Now hold on tight, and away we go...


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