The First Cigarette

I step out on this cold October morning

silent except for last night’s cricket and

Canadian Geese flying low in the overcast sky.

It is just after my coffee and I light the first cigarette.

He is there on my front lawn behind the white lattice fence

where the Japanese Morning Glories grow

‭His hair as still as winter wheat.

With knees bent he crouches low on the frosty grass

wearing a red t-shirt and blue shorts

like most boys his age ignores October’s chill.

He does not see me here behind the fenced-in yard or

seem to hear the geese flying overhead

nor the singular chirping of that last remaining cricket.

He is reading

his black horn-rimmed glasses resting delicately on his nose

and reluctant pale skin professing summer’s end.

His backpack lies abandoned by the raised bed of fallen leaves

A book lies upright on his open palms

while his body sways imperceptibly on its haunches defying gravity and

the presence of a godless world.

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