Buy Em by the Carton
Dad bought Chesterfields, influenced
by some radio guy who eventually got cancer himself.
but who could know in 1958 that dad
would sputter and choke on his own
flesh, wishing he were
younger, wanting to do
it over, abolishing those ‘cancer sticks’
and breathing the sweet spring air?
we kids hesitated, but still bought
him smokes, his jet-fuel
no other hobbies but smoking and sitting
on the porch swing, remembering something for
sure, but what?
his car crash down the hill at
the football stadium?
his big date with that movie star,
taking her down to Stroud’s for some
something still flashed in those
smoke-filled eyes and we
didn’t think it was death.