We are each our own devil, and we make this world our hell.
Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
Could’ve traded my soul to the Devil for poetic perfection
that time I met him at the crossroads. But
I squandered my chance by choosing the girl instead.
As the music overwhelms me, I realize I missed my calling
could’ve had a fulfilled life. “Such a pity
that ship sailed a long time ago” spits the Devil.
Should I borrow money for that trip to Italy, you wonder?
“Of course silly, you only go around once.”
And you smile even though you know the Devil’s talking.
I’m a senior now retired but not sure I’ve accomplished
everything I’ve wanted to? So pick something and do it, moron,
the Devil hisses in my ear.
Michael Estabrook has been publishing his poetry in the small press since the 1980s. Hopefully with each passing decade the poems have become more clear and concise, succinct and precise, more appealing and “universal.” He has published over 20 collections, a recent one being Bouncy House, edited by Larry Fagin (Green Zone Editions, 2014).