The Cigar

When he smoked, he didn’t concentrate.
The day for him was at an end.
He sat back, with his feet propped up,
eyes closed and his heart content
and you knew this was his moment—
raising the fat, packed, and stacked stick
to his lips where he ingested the spicy aroma
and exhaling his worries and grief.
It took a whole life to enjoy this moment.
The longer he lived, the more the enjoyment
and he had waited a long time for this one.
I watched and waited as Grandpa meditated,
until he surpassed the pinnacle and ended the show.
The last puff expelled trails of artistic beauty—
a poetic finale as he snuffed out his escape.
I asked his opinion, “A good smoke,” he said.
I stopped, I nodded, but couldn’t shake a double-take.
He loved and adored what those cigars stored
and I was disappointed by his nonchalance.
Ninety bucks on such a waste I thought,
until I saw it, saw it in the way he sat
looking down with his fingers laced.
He found something in his meditation—
a sad, important realization
that he couldn’t give to me.
And his solace was that is was his alone;
a secret he would keep unknown.

~Stewart Shelton


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