Running out of Gas

The old gas pump
stands well used and rusted
outside the 50s diner
seen by most as
just a relic on display
along a stretch of
US Highway One a long way
from Springfield, Mass.
the place it still calls home.

Back in its heyday
it was something special.
Bright, shiny, and new.

Full of spunk. Ready to go.
Waiting to serve.

Now, when you
squeeze the handle
it creaks and shudders
into a semi-wakeful state
as if to say I’m here, I’m trying
give me a chance.

But its numbers still count.

Howard Richard Debs received a University of Colorado Poetry Prize at age 19. After fifty years in advertising and marketing communications, he has recently resumed his literary pursuits, and his latest work appears or is forthcoming in Big River Poetry Review, Poetica Magazine, Misfitmagazine, Eclectica Magazine, and Ardor Literary Magazine. His background in photography goes back many years, both creative and technical, having been with the notable Wollensak Optical Company and his photography is found in select publications. He lives in sunny South Florida with his wife of 48 years, where they spend considerable time spoiling their 4 grandchildren. www.communicatorsandcommunications.com

About the photo: Debs took this photo of the venerable Gilbarco model 900 series gas pump (circa 1953) on November 1, 2008. To his knowledge, it’s still in place today. with appreciation to John La Prest of Old Gas Pump Guys, Pickett, WI.