Triptych of Bobby by Michael Estabrook

ONE – Maria
Bobby! For crying out loud!
Your cousin Maria is beautiful!
I just talked with her on the phone.
She’s also brilliant and very personable.
I can tell she’s caring and loving,
thoughtful, considerate, and kind.
I found her picture up on Facebook.
Dude! I’m not kidding!
Oh my God, she’s simply beautiful!
You should see her, you’ve got to see her.
What have you done?
Where have you gone?
You’d be so happy to still be around
just to spend some time
with your cousin Maria,
to see her, talk with her, touch her hand,
breathe the same air she breathes.
I know you would. I know it.
Bobby! For crying out loud!

TWO – What the Hell!
Bobby what have you done?
What the hell have you done?
I’m so fucking annoyed at you!
You had no right, you know that, I know you do.
Forget about individualism and free will.
Forget about Hobbes, Locke,
Spinoza, Schopenhauer, and Kant.
Forget about Shakespeare even.
You don’t really only belong to you.
You belong to the rest of us too.
You had no right, you know that, I know you do.

I’m certain had I been near, had I known
the level, the abysmal depth, of your pain,
I could have stopped you.
We were both way too sensitive for our own good,
so I know how you felt (that’s a dangerous thing)
and you would’ve listened to me too.
I would have said, “Dude, what the fuck.”
(No exclamation point even.)
And you would have stopped, just like that,
would’ve been embarrassed (staring down at the ground)
and ashamed about being caught trying to carry out
such an asinine plan, such idiocy. (What would
your friend Friedenberg have thought
and said, did you ever think about that? Did you!)
Bobby, what the hell have you done?

We’ve come such a long way from high school,
a lifetime away from our high school days.
So much water having flowed by, so much time gone.
And yet I’d give anything to get back there again,
(With you!) if only for a little while.

THREE – Mindless Violence
Such a warm, gentle, peaceful, sensitive soul,
who in 63 years never hurt a damn fly
(the cliché is appropos here, spot on),
never had a disparaging thing to say about anyone,
never mean-spirited, was not an angry man.
How could someone who loved life so,
how could he have ended such a splendid life
of the mind (and the senses)
in such a horrific act of mindless violence?
I’ll never understand it, I’ll never know.

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