I miss the clutch in our old car, father’s hand
engulfing the round knob of the gear shift each morning
as he slipped us into the flow of traffic.
The groan of the car made it clear
changing gear took effort,
that inertia was best met
with steady step and gentle grip.
My mother doesn’t miss those days
struggling at the roundabout,
stalling on the long slope to city centre.
Her automatic starts and stops at will,
no fuss, no sound, without straining,
without the thoughtfulness of old transmissions.