When you spotted the deep pucker lines
around the young woman’s lips, you whispered
in my ear, Smoker, as if you would never
die. Putting your lips to ice cream only
on your birthday, breathing no smoke, cutting
all fats, I thought for sure you’d outsmart
your genes. Then I remembered what you used
to advise your patients: If you eat for health
and don’t smoke you won’t necessarily live
a long life, but it will surely feel like you have.
You planted the hardy smoke bushes just after
your diagnosis. I never knew exactly when
you were being funny.
Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 23, Issue 1.
See all items about Doris Ferleger