Wednesday, December 31, 2008


(Photo Source:

The Last Cigarette

My daddy stopped smoking on a Sunday morning in winter.
Standing by the wood heater that warmed our three small rooms,
He smoked the last cigarette down to ashes.

Inhale, exhale. The smoke spiraled up into the air
And we all breathed it in as we waited for Mama
To get our coats and her Bible.

The last cigarette burned down to Daddy’s fingers that had hung
Years of sticks strung with tobacco into rented barns.
Tobacco fed us ‘til Daddy gave up the farm
And moved us to a better life in town.

Inhale, exhale. A final smoke ring circled in the air above our heads.
Daddy opened the heater door and dropped the last cigarette
Into the fire.
Ashes to ashes, the past went up in smoke and a shower of sparks.

Then, bundled up against the cold, we began the walk to church—
Our breath like smoke on the frosty air.
Resolution: a decision to do something or to behave in a certain manner; to make up one’s mind.
“But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the king's choice food or with the wine which he drank.” (Daniel 1:8a, NASB)

By Hazel King
© 2008

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