Two Poems by Michael Estabrook

All in a day

At times this house seems so big too big especially
since the children moved out.

My mother called to tell me Remy
has prostate cancer which got me alarmed
so I call Sandy, his wife, my cousin.

Perhaps we should downsize seeing as we only use
half the rooms. All we really need are
the bedroom and TV room, kitchen, bath, dining room,
Patti’s office and my library, and the laundry room.

So Sandy called me back while we were in
T.J. Maxx not shopping really
but there for a walk. Have cabin fever
and really needed to walk but the freezing rain
and fog drove us indoors.

3 to 4 other rooms we don’t need.
We should really find another place altogether
downsize properly. But two of our grandchildren
live right across the street (118 steps door-to-door)
so Patti isn’t going anywhere
therefore neither am I.

Sandy told me because the cancer
was minimal they would use radiation
on his prostate not surgery.
The docs had been watching it for some time now.
That was very good to hear.

Then after dinner Jesse called.
An old high school friend we recently
reconnected with. No agenda he said just felt
like talking with you, with an old friend.
So that was a nice ending to a hectic and fretful day.


Do not go gentle into that good night.
Dylan Thomas (1914-1953)

Shirtless at Mid-day
95 degrees time

to climb the ladder
finish painting the gutter
and overhang. I enjoy taunting the gods
they’ve been at me 65 years already!

Old Weightlifter
Lifting heavy barbells at 70

knowing he can seriously injure himself
a risk he’s willing to take
to feel young and strong again.

Hates growing old, aching joints,

slipping eyesight and memory,
fights it rigorously even knowing
the game is rigged
and the gods will have their way.

Only 61
The demon cancer struck suddenly

like an arrow
out of the darkness.
But I’m not done living! I shout,
shaking my fist at the gods.

Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. Hopefully with each passing decade the poems have become more clear and concise, succinct and precise, more appealing and “universal.” He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).