Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A morning cigarette while revising for A Levels

She thinks she lives for her first cigarette of the day.
A pair of cotton pyjamas,
Christmas-present slippers,
the milkiest of teas.
Her ample rear is perching
on a damp patio slab,
her glasses slightly askew
with the morning hours.
She worries briefly
about clouding the new neighbours' washing
with her smoke.
She remembers her mother mentioning
the man next door is a vicar.
She wonders if they are allowed to smoke.
She hears the other neighbour shuffling,
filling a watering can,
as she sends her clouds like thoughts
over the wall.
She draws it in,
fooling herself into thinking
she needs this. The tea is gulped -
frog-like swallows,
with nicotine fingers
cupping the cooling mug.
She remembers the first cigarette she smoked:
stolen from a school play props table
with furtive, curious hands.
Now she lives in a blue, cartoon cloud,
with pathetic unpopular girls
sitting with her between lessons
and wishing they had the guts to smoke too.
Her mother smokes,
but she must never know.
Our girl will hang out of bathroom windows
until she is thirty if she has to.
She will never steal her mother's supplies
as her love of detective dramas
has made her a sleuth of sorts and she
would absolutely know.
The girl stubs it out between
patio cracks and
slides the butt underneath the fence.
Let that fence never be knocked down.

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