Not to Be

A Poem by Michael Estabrook

All you needed Bobby
(I believe you’d agree, I know you’d agree)
to keep you content, challenged, engaged, excited,
and interested in life, to keep you alive
was a woman. That’s it, all you needed,
a woman like Patti or Linda
(who you had huge crushes on
all the way back in high school).

I know you wanted a woman, had a long-distance
relationship for years with Beth Ann
all the way across the country. But, alas,
it never worked out, never developed
into something lasting and close,
closer than 3,000 miles that is.

You were so excited after your latest le liaisons dangerous:
“It was wonderful. Especially the Watley Inn.
You have to try it. We had a room and dinner,
the “Staycation.” The food was awesome.
The room was fine too.”

So you dated now and then, here and there,
but let’s face it,
you were not comfortable with women, or even girls
back in the day. Girls are tricky,
many you encountered not intellectual enough
for your tastes, more bundles of emotional turmoil
and uncertainty, leaving you rudderless
in navigating through the shark-infested dating waters.

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