Dear Cousin Linda

A Poem by Michael Estabrook

Thanks a million for sending the gravel pictures my Dad made
back in 1963. We have accounted for all of them except
for The Last Supper that used to hang in Grammy’s dining room.

Are you going to answer that?

His disease prevented him from working but he couldn’t stand
not being useful in some way so he turned to making
these gravel pictures. Therapy for him too I suppose.

Of course I can’t eat that I’m on a diet

Such a coincidence, a couple days ago I began a letter to you
then yours shows up in the mail bulging with photos
thanks for sending them.

I can’t get these damn glasses clean
can’t see anything

I tried to let Aunt Dottie know I was thinking about her
a couple times a year anyway
by sending a card and some photos.

Don’t yell at me till I drop the damn ball

Bill sent me some photos of her when she first got married
back in 1942. I’ve only known her as a mature woman,
never realized she was so pretty!

Two wrongs don’t make a right

Did you know that she had a daughter?
I don’t recall the circumstances of this child, she must’ve stayed
with her father or Dorothy gave her up for adoption?

No I can’t read anything he’s written
it’s all very thin gruel

Enclosing a photo of her with my grandfather Fred
taken back in 1946 at his gas station.
She must’ve been 2 or so in that picture.

Ring twice when you get there

Since I was retired a year ago can’t figure out how I ever
had the time to work! I have been busier than ever
with our 2 grandchildren who live right across the street.

So if David decided to jump off a cliff you would too?
If Billy jumped in a lake so would you?

I take my 7-year old grandson Connor to gymnastics every week
which gives me a special pleasure
seeing as I was a gymnast back in high school.

Eat your dinner the children in China are starving

On top of all this I’ve been studying for our upcoming trip
to Italy. Did I tell you about that? To celebrate
Patti and me being together for 50 years I’m taking her to Italy.

Whatever your little heart desires

Both of us have always wanted to visit Italy
with all the art and history, especially Florence, the city
of Boccaccio, Machiavelli, Brunelleschi, Michelangelo, Da Vinci

If I’ve told you once I’ve told you 1000 times

and of course, Dante (learned Italian just to read the Divine Comedy
in the original and almost did my PhD on Dante).
I intend on knowing more than the tour guides!

History is written by the victors.

Well ok, guess that’s it for now. I hope you are making the most
of any extra time you might have since Dorothy
has left us. But I know you miss her too.


A Poem by Joanna M. Weston

the pileated woodpecker
hammers his summer song
to a hunting beat
undetered by rain or wind

I listen and watch
as ants and insects
disappear to his rhythm

claws fixed in bark
black feathers sleek
arrogant crest nodding
to the throb of his beak


A Poem by Joanna M. Weston

ripples move out
and on to an edge
where they curtsey
politely swing skirts
and subside
into sand

‘like this’ he says
as the stone leaves
snapping fingers
‘like that’ as the stone
touches touches again
eight nine times
until it slips
into a wave and ripples