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Editor's Note



Three Poems
by Michael Estabrook

Technically Speaking
To this day I wonder
if she had dated any other guys
in college, like she wanted to,
how far she would have gone with them.
Even though she and I were still
(technically speaking) boyfriend and girlfriend,
had been so for 2 years already,
would she have let these other guys
hold her hand or put an arm around her waist?
Would she have permitted any kissing:
soft and quick
or hard and long and deep?
For example, if Don, her big,
macho football player friend,
who liked to walk her to class and study with her,
had worked up the courage to ask her out
would he also have found the courage
to put his arm around her and try to kiss her?
And if so would she have
gently pushed him away like she did
to that blind date of hers
as he moved in on her
in the back seat of his friend’s car?
Or instead, because she was after all,
rather fond of Don, her big, macho
football player friend, would she have
been receptive to his advances
and not discouraged him?
Would she have closed
her pretty mink-coat brown eyes
like she does when I kiss her,
and let him press his hungry mouth
over her mouth as his brawny arms
surrounded her sweet delicate frame
pulling her in closer up against him?
He would be a fool not to try,
she was so beautiful after all, almost
her college’s Homecoming Queen that year.
Yes, I wonder how things
would have been if she had let other guys
into her life and heart and if
I would even be here today if she had.

So damn beautiful
They didn’t ask her, they couldn’t ask her,
to dance with them or go on dates with them
or to do anything else too personal
simply because she was so damn beautiful.
Do you know what I mean?
Does it make any sense?
You know how, if you’re a guy
at a dance hopping with strangers,
like at your first mixer away at college,
and you’re so eager to meet some girls,
you want to mingle, to fit in,
you survey the landscape carefully,
scope out the girls like a cheetah
picking a meal out of a herd of sleek antelope.
Like the cheetah, you don’t pick
the strongest and most beautiful of the antelopes,
because she will surely outrun you, turn you down.
You do not want to wander over,
muttering under your breath,
“Would you like to dance?”
Only to have her give you a sideways glance,
scrunch her brow and shake her head,
a disdainful look crossing her pretty face.
You do not want to get shot down so quickly.
Well, that’s what happens
when you go after the real beauties, the regal girls,
the girls every guy wants. So instead
you choose one who’s pretty,
but not a knock-out beauty
to up your chances of success.
That’s what used to happen to Patti.
She was so stunning, the boys
would pass her right by, thank God for me. 

Go ahead, go, go out with him.
You’ve been determined
for quite some time now to try some other guys
to go out on dates with other guys.
So go, go ahead, go out with him,
go out with them, all of them if you need to,
go out and have some fun,
all the fun you need, you deserve.
What’s his name?
Where are you going?
Oh never mind, I didn’t mean to ask you,
I should not be asking you,
I am sorry about that.
It doesn’t matter anyway.
I don’t need to know.
It’s none of my damned business afterall,
shame on me for asking you in the first place.
I don’t own you. You don’t belong to me,
even though our song is “You belong to Me,”
you don’t really belong to me, I know that,
you never have and never will.
You don’t owe me anything.
You are your own girl, your own person,
you belong to you, not to me,
and you can go out with other guys,
any other guys you want.
So go ahead, go out with them,
with the other guys.
I’ll be all right, I suppose, although really, truly,
I know it doesn’t matter how I am,
how I feel about the whole damn thing.
It does not matter if I am fearful of losing you
to someone else, to some guy better than me,
it doesn’t matter to you, it shouldn’t matter to you,
truly it is my problem, all mine, so –
if you need to wander, if you must,
if I am not enough for you, too bad for me.
You need to do it, obviously,
you need to explore your options, need
to be with other guys so go! Go! Go ahead
and have at it, have some fun,
do what you need to do to get it done.
I’ll be here, I should be here anyway,
waiting for you right here in your dorm lobby
when you are all through – maybe.


Michael Estabrook is a baby boomer who began getting his poetry published in the late 1980s. Over the years he has published 15 poetry chapbooks, his most recent entitled “When the Muse Speaks.” Other interests include art, music, theatre, opera, and his wife who just happens to be the most beautiful woman he has ever known.

Copyright 2011, Michael Estabrook . © This work is protected under the U.S. copyright laws. It may not be reproduced, reprinted, reused, or altered without the expressed written permission of the author. ,