His car wouldn’t start.

I offered him my battery,

the one I bought two years ago to

replace the one my

father-in-law put in after

a Syracuse winter did in the

one factory-installed.

His hood wouldn’t open.

I offered him my toolbox,

the one my dad gave me with

the blue-handled tools and

the blue plastic case with

“Do It Herself”

stamped on the cover.

His flashlight went out.

I offered him my penlight,

the one from the Air Force chaplain,

handed out at the

Pastor Appreciation Luncheon

in thanks for our ministry to

the airbase personnel.

His know-how failed him.

I offered him my laptop,

the one my mother donated

to the church when

she no longer needed it,

which was later delivered to me as a

no-hard-feelings parting-gift.

His persistence dwindled.

I offered him a cup of hot tea.

He chose the inexpensive, store-brand

ginger tea and sat on the hood,

drinking and listening to

the chirping of the dying battery,

the hooting of the neighborhood owl.