Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Andrew Seabrooks passed away on 6/21/08

She walked out into the moist morning air
last week, looking for candles.
(It had rained the night before, but
she did seem to notice the petering drizzle).
She did not find them at the corner bodega,
found some old candles at the supermarket
among the mops and liquid cleaners.
As she paid, she asked for a
few pieces of tape. The cashier obliged,
noting her puffy eyes and unmade hair.
She then went to the cab stand where
Andrew Seabrooks, the man she loved,
had worked for most of his life.

The dispatcher at the cab stand helped her,
together, they laid it outside the storefront,
the candles on the ground, the taped piece
of paper at the gate. She wrote slowly,
in unsteady hand, in blue ink, her phone
number, in case, anyone had questions
about the sudden news of
the death of Andrew Seabrooks.

The piece of paper showed an image,
It was almost a silhouette, a burly man,
a khaki military uniform, a camouflage hat,
the sun strong behind him,
Andrew Seabrooks standing tall.
After lighting the candles and securing the tape
one more time, she stopped by his barber to tell
about the prayer service that afternoon.
She also informed the postman about the same.

They all came to the prayer service for Andrew Seabrooks,
who once drove a cab, sometimes installed car stereos,
but who could not find enough to pay the mortgage...
It was the thought of losing their home,
home to his wife, and their
four year old son Xavier Seabrooks,
that made him go to Kandahar.
Just before he left, (she seemed to remember)
the first foreclosure notice was delivered
by the same postman in the pew.
And for some reason, it helped cement his
shaky decision to save their home.

7,000 miles away, the week before,
Andrew Seabrooks passed away on 6/21/08.
A resident of South Ozone Park NY,
collector of action DVDs,
inveterate homebody,
a tinkerer of things mechanical,
an occasional joke player
and last, but not least,
a National Guardsman,
killed by an improvised explosive device
outside Kandahar, Afghanistan.

It is amazing what strange bedfellows
like the subprime mortage crisis
and an army trolling
for bodies (willing to die) can accomplish.

I wrote this poem using lines adapted from a story printed in yesterday’s New York Times.


Anonymous said...

gloria is NOT his wife!! Her name is Kimberly. But thanks for your effort.

Anonymous said...

da only wife mr.seabrooks had was kimberly...miss hedges is a fake niece that was seein him with out kim knowin....so miss hedges need 2 stop da bullshit...let things go let him leave on as a great man

Sunil said...

I have gone ahead and removed references to the wife's name.

Anonymous said...

thank u very much ur poem is nice but da true is not all there so as a friend of mr.seabrooks i will say thank u thank u & i would like 2 say happy b day 2 him.....which pasted jan 6