What if I never left you that day
when you sent me away?
What if I simply shrugged and said,
“Well, OK, Patti, I hope you have a nice time
on your date with your new boyfriend.
But I’m going to sit and stay
right here in this chair in your dorm lobby.
It’s a free country isn’t it?”
I suspect you would have become flustered
and upset, asking me again to leave,
perhaps even pleading for me to leave
to not embarrass you in front of your friends.
But no, I would be a real man this time
and I wouldn’t go. Instead, I’d stay right there
minding my own business in this dorm lobby chair
and watch as Bobbie introduced you
to your blind date, watch as he shook
your sweet, soft hand and maybe leaned in
for a quick hug and kiss on the cheek.
I’d watch as you tried to ignore me, tried not
to look across the room and see
the devastated look on my face.
And then I’d watch too as you followed
your new date through the door, followed along
behind him outside, out, free, to your freedom
from me, to enjoy your blind date all day,
some lunch in the campus cafeteria,
asking clumsy questions trying to get
to know one another as fast as possible
so you could enjoy your precious time together
at the game and then in the back seat
of Bobbie’s boyfriend’s big old car.
What if . . .
words: Michael Estabrook, Massachusetts (more)