Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Mike Estabrook

My Wife Washing Her Hair

At the kitchen sink,
in her pajamas,
(thinly disguising her lush body beneath)
bending over, scrubbing the shampoo
into her shiny hair,
her eyes closed,
her fingers rubbing her scalp
like kneading dough,
then a long rinse,
rinsing the soap out before dabbing
conditioner in, then rubbing again,
then rinsing again,
wrapping the towel around,
throwing her head back
like a mermaid
rising from the foam of the surf,
turning into the room towards me,
like presenting herself
at the Duke’s grand ball.
Been a long time
since I’ve witnessed anything
quite so beautiful.

Lone White Dove

I look at her, gaze at her
sitting like Mary in the corner
of the sofa
her legs folded under,
her pink fingernails shining,
her soft brown hair
grazing her neck and shoulders
like cirrus clouds, white wisps
caressing the edges of the world.
I marvel that I still see
the same beautiful girl
I fell in love with three decades ago
and have protected, cherished
and worshipped as if she were
the very last member of her species,
a lone white dove clinging
with her soft talons onto a ridge
of a craggy mountain cliff
holding back the impending storm.


Raining when I get to
the barbershop. The guys
are rearranging
the display windows,
dusting, setting up bottles
and brushes in
a more interesting way.
Todd the Barber smiles at me,
his white teeth flashing,
as he clears a chair,
as he pumps me up,
and begins to snip away
at my ever-thinning hair:
around my ears,
an inch above my collar.
He doesn't talk thank God.
I'm tired and hate
small talk in barbershops.
Instead I listen
to the old songs playing
on the AM station; listen
to Carly Simon's warm
wonderful mouth,
and wonder as Todd the Barber
snip, snip, snips, how
what's-his-name Taylor
could've ever let her
get away.

I threw my socks

I was so mad (I forget what about)
that when I got home and began
undressing I took off
my socks and threw them,
not at anyone,
simply threw them on the bed.
Yes, I threw my socks. They didn’t even
make a sound as they landed
like dreams on the bedspread.
And there was a time
when I was a fairly respectable
weightlifter and took karate,
and I was a gymnast too and am still
a strong swimmer. What has become of me?
I wonder what I’ll throw
ten years from now when I get mad.

Roadside Party

Cluster of seven or eight pink
and yellow balloons stuck high
in a tree alongside the road.
Winter is setting in,
the tree has lost its leaves,
and the stuck balloons
stay there wobbling around
in the wind. I wonder
how they got there so far
from houses and parties
and the mall, only cars
and trucks whizzing by
all day long and into the night.

No comments: