Cigarette Burns

May 2010
Cigarette Burns 

Inside my grandfather’s Grand Marquis,
I finger the scorched upholstery
and remember a cigarette
weeping smoldering ash
caught between crinkled lips.
The metallic arch
of partial dentures flashed with
the hearty laughs of a stocky man
at the kitchen table cradling coffee
in yellowed laborer’s hands
that beat my mother,
(so I’m told)
when liquor ran like blood
back in the day.
But I remember dancing
 in worn loafer slippers,
 summers swimming at the Cape,
an old easy chair,
and the Boston Bruins
blaring in the den.
I recall laughter
and feuds,
sudden strokes and amputated legs,
the smell of sick and rehab,
and the unfamiliar ghost of a man
crumpled, clutching my hand.
During the delivery of needles
filled with powerless medicine
his terrified blue eyes see beyond me
as I search for the remnants
of the man I knew in fading irises.
Aching with the phantom pain
of a fractured family,
until the frozen dirt was split
and filled with his fetid flesh,
 I count the cigarette burns
on the fabric of my memory.
Wealhtheow Wealhtheow
22-25, F
2 Responses Aug 13, 2010

Thanks! The original is actually set to a guitar piece that a friend of mine wrote. It sounds really cool all together.

I really enjoyed reading this