Poems. By Michael Estabrook.
When The Muse Speaks
Shes actually reading my latest book of poems,
really, truly, reading
my latest book of poems,
something she never does:
I dont understand them.
I dont read much anyway.
I never know what to say when I read them.
(Nora never read James Joyces writing either
so shes in good company.)
But today shes sitting here
in the living room reading them
and shes laughing
and saying, aaahhh, and
I really said that, Im a gardener, not a gatherer?
So distracting having her, my Muse,
reading my latest book of poems:
When The Muse Speaks.
She finishes and tells me how good they were
and how much fun
it was to read them.
When I saw the title I said, oh no,
a bunch of love poems to me,
glad it wasnt that, shes smiling
and nodding her head. Oops,
guess I wont be showing her my next book of poems.
Were both up in bed.
Im telling her,
We have nothing in common, you know:
completely different lines of work,
live on opposite coasts of the country,
dont have any sports in common,
hes a golfer and I swim,
no hobbies the same,
he certainly doesnt read poetry
or have any interest in the arts,
I have no interest in traveling like he does,
or in all these modern electronic gadgets.
We have nothing, except for our family history,
we have nothing else in common.
Shes sleepy certainly, but replies finally,
None of that matters. Hes your son.
Who could have imagined
Id be sitting here
on my numb ass
in this stuffy, gray, meeting room
a big shiny boardroom table
discussing the customer response
to our security of supply
business continuity plan and rollout
instead of on the latest research vessel
out of Woods Hole collecting
phytoplankton and zooplankton,
jellyfish larva and sea urchin eggs,
like I was planning and hoping to do
way back in the beginning?
Who? Not me certainly. Not me.
Silly, naive girl
She rejected him, plain and simple as that,
when he moved in on her,
slid up against her
in the back seat of the car.
She nudged him away, firmly,
and moved in the opposite direction,
putting some space between them.
On this impulsive first blind date of hers
she had no intention, no inclination, no desire,
to engage in any romance whatsoever,
she had all the romance she could handle with me,
her real boyfriend at the time.
I suppose she was simply curious
about other guys and wanted to have some fun
at a ball game or the movies. Silly, naive girl.
Theres not a guy on the planet
who wouldnt give anything
to get his hands on her.
Some fun at a game or the movies HA!
Today after spending the morning
walking around the zoo
with our granddaughter
I needed a nap when we got back to Daves.
But this time I didnt reflect back
on my Dad like I usually do when I take naps.
(When he was dying of stomach cancer
frequently hed take naps
in the afternoon so to this day
I associate afternoon naps with my fathers death.)
Instead, today my fathers brother popped
into my mind: when he got older
his bum knee began acting up too often
and he couldnt stand it anymore
so one evening he drank half a bottle of Scotch,
took the end of his shotgun barrel
in his mouth and blew his blood and brains
all over Aunt Kays nice new
I need to stop taking naps in the afternoon.
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