Poetry Drawer: Back Roads: Diorama: Invisible Man: Scout and Jem: Give or Take by Michael Estabrook

Back Roads

Longing for the good
old days even knowing
you can never go back.

As the months and years have rolled by since I’ve retired
I’ve lost touch with most of my old coworkers.
It’s the nature of the beast I tell myself
the natural order of things
as you have less and less to do with someone
less and less in common, you lose touch
it’s simply the way it is, it’s normal.
Lisa’s wealthy now, goes biking through the back roads
of Tuscany and Scotland, what
would I have to say to her, or to Craig
who is younger than me, visiting colleges with his son?


But I’m not done living!
he shouted at the gods
shaking his fist.

Strange to think that I’ve lived twice as long
as my father lived.
He died as a young man.
But as my father
no matter how much older than him I live to be
he’ll always be older than me
because time itself at his death
is forever frozen unable to move forward.
So he’s 36 and I’m stuck at 15
in this timeless diorama forever.

Invisible Man

Don’t take your yourself
too seriously. Without humour
you’re dead in the water.

Rick was a good guy
the handsomest guy I ever knew.
We worked together sometimes stopping
at a bar at the end of the day.
Fascinating watching the ladies buzzing around him
winking and waving
or coming right over to say hi
ignoring me completely
even though I was sitting next to him.
It was like I was the Invisible Man.
“That happen often?” I asked him
as a stunning young woman handed him
her business card, touched him
on the shoulder saying call me.
He shrugged and smiled, such a modest guy.
Yep. Rick was a good guy
the handsomest guy I ever knew.
Fun to be around unless of course
you were hoping to find a date for yourself.

Scout and Jem

Memory’s the second
thing to go you know
she said with a giggle.

I remind myself that doing really well
at Trivial Pursuit is not
I repeat NOT proof that you are smart. But I suppose
recalling so many facts pertaining to history,
literature, science, sports, even entertainment is cause
for feeling pride particularly when
you’re a Septuagenarian supposed to have a fading memory.
“But before getting too inflated and self-satisfied,”
spouts the damn Devil floating in the corner,
“I’d be remiss in not reminding you that you did think
Victoria Falls was the tallest waterfall in the world
and you did forget the nicknames
of Atticus’s children in
To Kill a Mockingbird, you moron.”

Give or Take

Don’t waste time worrying
about what you can’t change
or fix, she tells me all the time.

The fancy-pants astrophysicist
with the big glasses and crazy hair explains
in logical scientific detail
that in 5 billion years (give or take)
our Milky Way Galaxy will collide
with our neighbour
the so much larger Andromeda Galaxy
and be torn apart.
Oh no! I think and begin to worry
but abruptly realize – 5 billion years, seriously!
Even I can’t be that stupid to worry
about something 5 billion years down the road
I tell myself as I see the Devil in his corner
shaking his head not having to say anything
this time for a change.

You can find more of Michael’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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