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.


Because of Global Warming

A Poem by Michael Estabrook

Fiddle-de-de as Scarlet would say.
I’ve learned over my long, long lifetime
there are a handful of things best not to ignore:
Mother Nature, the IRS, my boss,
an angry cat (or dog, or gorilla for that matter),
a throbbing tooth, a seemingly benign rash,
a tornado swirling way off in the distance,
ringing fire alarms, an ominous fin
sticking up out of the water
(and moving towards you)
and—most importantly—your Wife
(with a capital “W” like Chaucer would write).

Simply Eating Her Salad


A poem by Michael Estabrook
Sometimes I become completely overwhelmed
by merely being in her presence,
like this afternoon
at McDonald’s with the grandchildren,
suddenly I’m choked with emotion,
barely able to speak,
while simply watching her
sitting there eating her salad, quietly, unassumingly.

I had to work at not crying,
(What a silly spectacle I would have been.)
dabbing at my eyes
with a crumpled McDonald’s napkin.
Guess my eyes are watering
because it’s so cold outside.
(Sure, nice try, you silly old man.)

I can understand being so smitten
when you first fall in love–how can you help it!
The beauty, the youth, the vigor and vitality,
the inescapable mystery of it all,
crashing over you like an avalanche in the Alps.
But come on! I’ve been at this now a long time,
with this woman almost half a century!
How could it be possible
that I still get all choked up watching her
sitting there simply eating her salad?