And it kept getting worse. So…

Here’s a poem from my chapbook, Plant a Garden Around Your Life. The Book Quote Wednesday keyword is “Stone” and you’ll see how that fits if you dive in. Worth the read. #bookqw

Plant a Garden Around Your LIfe by [Wendy S. Delmater, Elisabeth Kitzing]


A Glorious Day

The car broke down in the snow

North of New York City.

Didn’t sleep at all last night,

‘Cause I worked my second job

Typing transcripts

‘Til the sun came up.

I worked all day, then headed north

To Westchester County,

To college.


And it really was a glorious day

A memorable one

Looking back on it now.


So the damned overheat light

Glowed bright on the dashboard

Of my seventeen-year-old car.

It was after nine o’clock in the evening

And I was stuck on the Hutchinson River Parkway

In the middle of Scarsdale,

With no credit cards,

No triple-A,

And $2.49 to my name.


And it really was a glorious day

No matter how bad it sounds

Looking back on it now.


I said a quick prayer

A compassionate stranger stopped

Prayer must work, ‘cause he loaned me ten bucks

To get home

And a flashlight

To find the problem.

The problem was that

I needed my radiator replaced.



Catchin’ a cold,

With sleep deprivation,

Stone cold broke

And out of options –

As I eased the cooled-off car

Up the exit ramp,

Stopped at a pay phone

And called my sister.

As usual.


But it really was a glorious day

No sarcasm intended.

I’ll always remember it that way.


The State Trooper was kind enough to wait

For the tow truck to come

And then he dropped me off at a motel.

And off he drove

As I discovered

That the tow might take her VISA by phone

But motels do not.

Unless my sister’s card could be run through their machine,

I was out of luck.

It’s 11pm, and a mile and a half

From the nearest train station.

It starts raining.


But it really was a glorious day

I know you don’t believe me at all

Yet I think back on it fondly.


If I am careful I should have enough to get home

A taxi to the railroad is too expensive.

Walking through the six-inch slush,

On my way to Metro North,

I figure I can spend a dollar on something to eat,

But nothing’s open.

So I caught the last train to Manhattan

(Oh, God – its warm, I can sit!)

And fell asleep is if drugged.

On an empty stomach.


But it really was a glorious day

(Wait, it gets better)

A wonderful memory on my life.


I scared the train cleaner

Half to death

In the bowels of  Metro North’s station.

It seems I never heard them pull into

Grand Central Station.

I wonder why.

Let me out of here –

I still have to catch a train to Long Island.

Yes, I know I shouldn’t be back here.

No, I don’t have a pass.

Can I go now?


It truly was a glorious day

One I shall recall fondly

For the rest of my life.


One vendor was open

A Snickers bar

Is better than nothing

On an empty stomach, right?

I took the subway to Penn Station

And just missed the last train

To Long Island.

There was one at three in the morning.

I’ll wait.


The Long Island Railroad makes you

Change from an electric train

To a diesel one

At Babylon Station.

The hell with it.

I’ll take a taxi

From Babylon to Bay Shore

Rather than wait another 45 minutes.

There’s my driveway,

And if you don’t take a check you can throw me in jail,

As long as it has a bed.

I’m calling in sick tomorrow.


But the glorious thing

Was to be able to quantify

Something that I had never been able to isolate before.

I was miserable.

I was tired.

I was unhappy.

But I was not depressed.

My condition had responded to the medication.


Depression is not sadness.

Depression is not tiredness.

It is hard to put into words,

But I never would have been able to describe it at all

If it had not been for

That glorious day.


Wendy S. Delmater