I’ve been trying to write a post on giving up something for Lent, but I am still working on it. Smoking is something I’ve given up a number of times.
Here, Laura Rodley captures why it attracts, rather than repels.
My father’s brand Pall Malls, hands off steering
wheel to light his, then flick off searing
leaves that stuck to his lip, happened each trip
sixty miles per hour, I worried we’d flip
over, he contentedly pressed the gas,
driving faster somehow made pleasure last.
My sisters took up habit of smoking
no fears for them of early croaking;
no one they knew had succumbed, room filling
with smoke as if in a bar, the thrilling
lift of nicotine hitting a bulls-eye.
Later my sister couldn’t quit, and tried
over and over again, echoing
“It’s a filthy habit,” father’s saying–
loud in her ear; she loved it so, delight
to watch smoke curl over porch, a kite,
and the tiny stopping of time each break,
chores on hold, decisions, too, an intake
of smoke to settle her down for the night,
infusion of well-being, it’s all right.
Laura Rodley © 2015
Laura Rodley received a Pushcart Prize for her poem “Resurrection,” (originally in The New Verse News and now in Pushcart Edition XXXVII), and she has had work published in Best Indie Lit New England, Massachusetts Review, and Hunger Mountain among others. She is editor and publisher of As You Write It, A Franklin County Anthology, a compilation of memoirs from seniors age 70 through 95.
Former co-curator of the Collected Poets Series, she teaches creative writing.
More recent poems by Laura Rodley featured on The New Verse News include “After the Bad News,” which appeared January 23, 2015 and “Snow Before Thanksgiving,” which appeared on Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 2014.
Laura also writes features such as “The revival of green fields at Hettie Belle Farm,” and “The Tucker Technique and the Equine Dentistry School Online,” for Country Folks, the Weekly Farm Paper Highlighting Agriculture.
Burning thanks to Laura Rodley for contributing this poem.
Do you have something you’d like to contribute? Send it to weighedwords at gmail.com.