width=61 height=87> Voracious Verses



Michael Estabrook


The pretty nurse,
in her crisp white uniform
and cap, enters the room
as the old man
with wispy, pure white
hair, no teeth, and
needles sticking
from the black and
purple patches in his arms,
is having an imaginary
telephone conversation
with his dead brother.
“Hold on a minute Earl,
the nurse is here
with my pills,” he says.

© 2007 Michael Estabrook

Aunt Mary Jean

Our last phone
call before
the inevitable end,
from an unexpected
malignant cancer,
she said to me,
quietly, calmly,
“My name’s
already on
the headstone
with Uncle Lenny.
Have my dates
chiseled there
beneath my name,
or not.”

© 2007 Michael Estabrook

Angel Wings

Hours at the top of the ladder,
painting shingles and shutters,
windows and gutters,
swatting mosquitoes,
shooing away wasps,
sweating in the stifling noon-day sun,
nervous and cramped,
weary and bored,
until a lonely moth,
large and light brown,
fluttered its soft dusty wings
across my aching sun-burnt back.
cool and light and delicate
as angel wings must be.

© 2007 Michael Estabrook

Away From Home

dark nights,
dimly lit rooms,
old-fashioned curtains,
dusty, floral-print bedspread,
faded carpets,
an old black telephone,
pull up the knob to flush the toilet,
strange cheeses and jam,
I sure will be happy
when I can get
back home again to you

© 2007 Michael Estabrook