So Dad didn’t die when he was only 36
Dr. Zullo gave him an experimental drug
that rolled the stomach cancer back out to sea
And Mom didn’t marry that jackass pencil salesman
with his shotguns and beehives
and his big stupid Lincoln Town Car
She and Dad came around a lot and spoiled
the grandchildren taking them to the movies and ball games
and out fishing like our grandparents spoiled us
And Dad was there when we needed him for advice
and to diagnose the problems with our cars
simply by cocking his head and listening.
What if you belonged to another man,
were another man’s wife
and I fell in love with you anyway,
I couldn’t help myself and fell in love anyway
with your beauty and charm,
your elegance and grace,
but I couldn’t have you
because you belonged to him,
what would I do then?
What could I do then?
Would I go crazy,
loving you from afar,
pining away, pacing a rut
through my living room rug,
the thoughts of you throbbing
like heavy trains through
my brain, chewing at my heart
like jackals gnawing a wildebeest carcass,
the vision of your ethereal femininity
like diaphanous bats haunting my daydreams
and my long dark nights too,
like a ghost in Hamlet or Macbeth or Richard III.
Or would I fold my tent,
abandon my quest for you,
go off quietly into that not-so-good night.
Upon instantaneous reflection
the answer is clear to me –
I would have to pursue you with every ounce
of my pale pathetic being,
move mountains, conquer the heavens,
how could I do otherwise?
Michael Estabrook: Retired now writing more poems and working more outside just noticed two Cooper’s hawks staked out in the yard or rather above it which explains the nerve-wracked chipmunks. Bouncy House is a recent collection edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).