gallegos
On the Move Again
bu Martina R. Gallegos

That little old beetle
carried everything I owned,
all the essentials I’d need and use,
at home away from home,
but I never really had a home.

When I moved, it was a yearly thing
in order to afford ever-increasing rent,
and with The Little Engine that Could,
we’d be on the move again,
but I never really had a home.

That little old beetle
was like The Little Engine that Could.
I’d pump air into the tires before
and after each trip, every weekend.
Going up the Conejo Grade was more of a challenge
for the driver than for the car.

When I moved, it was always to find a better place,
but it never worked out that way.
The roommates were an issue, and so were the bugs.
The managers were never around
to chase trouble away.

When I moved, that little old beetle
took me through lightning and storms,
and we’d barely make it home
just to start looking for home again.

When I moved to a permanent home,
I began to miss that little old beetle.
I’d say if I saw it again, I’d get it back,
and I’ve turned into The Little Engine that Could.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: My bother J. Crisanto Gallegos de Robles, with my beetle,  Oxnard, California, 1988.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Before starting college, my brothers and I were constantly moving to a new place. When I went to university, I only took with me what I could fit in my 69 beetle. I’d come back to visit my sister every weekend because I was braver then. My car tires would always lose pressure overnight, and I’d use a bicycle pump to fill them up again. I bought this, my first car, for $250 dollars and had it for about six years. Somebody hit me and totaled it. I wanted to keep it; we fixed it and got about $1,500 from the insurance. I then sold it to my brother, and he kept it for a few more years before selling it for about $800.00 dollars.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Martina R. Gallegos came from Mexico and attended Pasadena High School, Oxnard College, and CSUN. She got a Master’s from Grand Canyon University after a massive stroke. She published Grab the Bull by the Horns (Outskirts Press, 2016). Her poems have appeared in Hometown Pasadena, Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015, Silver Birch Press, Spectrum, The Girl God, and Basta!