Flat battery

It was a sunny Monday in the wintry month of June
When we went to do the shopping in the mid afternoon.
We hadn’t very much to buy. Just basics, milk and bread
And kidneys from the Chinese shop so Zara could be fed.

We loaded both the shopping bags into the empty boot.
Then went up to the fruiterers for veges, eggs and fruit.
Content with all our purchases we sat down in the car;
I warmed the glowplugs normally and turned the key – but ah!!!

Instead of instant action the starter tried in vain.
I switched it off; rewarmed the plugs – and tried it once again.
No luck. My faithful Peugeot was going nowhere fast.
It seemed as though the battery’s best days were in the past.

The carpark had a gentle slope but thoughts of rolling starts
Were fast dismissed. No good for diesel cars
Ring the AA!   Ah but we had left the phone behind
So back into the shops we went to see if we could find

A normal phone upon a wall to call for expert aid
And yes – there’s one – with guiding rules most carefully displayed.
We didn’t need a taxi. We didn’t have a card
Just try to make a simple call – why did that seem so hard?

We read it once, we read it thrice; we followed ev’ry stage
But then a message negative was finally displayed.
A helpful café owner let us use her phone to call
And John explained our problem to the AA’s wailing wall

They said that they were busy and no-one could help us fast

We’d have to wait until at least another hour had passed.

We thanked them and returned to wait in comfort with no fuss
And decided I would proceed home alone upon the bus.
I started through the carpark and with great delight did scan
That sight we had been waiting for – an AA service van.

He was queuing at an exit having done a helpful deed
and was heading for the city next with all his normal speed.
I gasped. I ran.  I caught his eye so he did notice me
And lowered down his window fast to listen to my plea.

I told him John was waiting with our car that would not start
And I must have sounded pitiful as I pleaded from the heart
So he told me to return and he followed in my track
And John was most surprised to see me coming quickly back.

They opened up the bonnet and the testing leads applied
They looked and checked and talked about the stuff that was inside
The battery was shot he said – it started with his aid –
And John received an AA card with phone number displayed

For the AA batt’ry service van. We called upon the phone
And made a quick appointment for their services at home.
Early the next morning it appeared with testing gear
And confirmed the batt’ry’s charging was as bad as we did fear.

So now the car’s been treated to a brand new battery.
We hope that it will serve us long and most reliably.

[That was 2011; it died in March 2022]


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