The car sat in the side yard
after a constable told my father
to get it off the street.
We mowed around its rust for years,
watched the tires sink
with spider cracks and the vinyl roof
peeled by a decade of squirrels
until a mullet head from Nazareth
pulled up in a Firebird,
gave us thirty bucks to take it away.
Said it would make a great target
at the demolition derby.
I went to watch it happen,
a hundred bucks to the driver
who could total my grandfather’s Valiant
now resurrected with bright paint,
a bull’s eye drawn on its side.
So with shouts from the bleachers
each driver sideswiped
another piece off the car.
One Malibu limped away
with a bumper caught
in the axle, then an El Camino
with eyes painted on the hood
came at it for the final finish,
and my grandfather’s ghost
straightened his back
like it was before the wheelchair,
put all his weight on the brakes
and let that prick know
he wasn’t about to budge.