Poem: Stranger Smoking a Cigarette

By Dave H

I saw her sit on a bench,
light up a cigarette,
inhale and blow out repeatedly.
She completed this ritual
as if attempting
to nourish an unending

She smoked the cigarette
until the white roll of nicotine
turned to black ash, Then she
flicked the “cigarette butt”
on to the dirty city street,
as though discarding
something of no value.

I saw her—this woman
with wrinkled, pallid skin,
with cropped, grey hair,
dressed in a white gown,
connected to a plastic tube,
inserted in her left arm,
attached to an I.V pole
which she dragged beside her.

I saw her, struggle to walk,
cough and hack,
re-enter the front door
of the hospital, as a patient.
She appeared to be ill,
undergoing “chemo.”

But I’m not sure—I know she was ill.
She reminded me of an former friend
who died of cancer. That’s all I know.


About Dave Hood

Lover of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction. Professional photographer and writer. Without the arts, life would be rather mundane, like a walk down the same old path on a dull day.
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