Changing Oil, Anaconda Montana

Changing Oil, Anaconda Montana

A bumper sticker on an old Chevy peeling out of town:
“Born to hunt, forced to work”


All the weight brought to bear
        on the gears and shafts, the turning
leads me nowhere.

The oil that keeps things smooth is viscous—
at 0w30, a sixty-dollar job.

No ramps here
so I drive to the greasy pad,
hand over some dollars,
sit in the quiet room to wait, or
go for a walk:

It’s fall. The leaves are coming into themselves
Me:       heading eastward, again
to mountains, and a mine site
to plant snowberry and sagebrush,
for October,
and hard cash.

Keep my bearings greased with money.
Soften the squeak of insecurity.
How well
does it add up?

After a summer wandering endless ranges
in simple, beige trail runners
I am afraid of the dark-brown, two-pound
steel-toed work boots
I bought for the job at the Anaconda Mine.