Smoke

We earned our stripes that night
amid the polka dots and cigarette butts 
and other signs of life 
clamoring for attention. 

Those stripes unfurl in 
a smoky ambivalence 
leaving tentative finger prints, 
another reminder of something 

illusory that the wind may dispel 
just as easily as fire leaves 
an ashy mark on anyone 
bold enough to reach.


© 2021 Phillip Knight Scott

Sarah asks us at dVerse Poets Pub to have a conservation with a poem we’ve read. I choose this one by Atticus. I don’t smoke and find inspiration elsewhere, though ultimately it will all blow away in time.

Published by Phillip Knight Scott

My name is Phillip. I live in North Carolina with my wife of 12 years and 5-year-old son. I am a Tar Heel born and bred and watch every Yankees game I can. I'm still searching for my own TARDIS. My first novel, "The Alien in the Backseat," is available now! https://amzn.to/3oVCG77

23 thoughts on “Smoke

  1. Wow!! This is absolutely lovely! I love the easy slip into conversational tone with Atticus’s poem especially; “another reminder of something illusory that the wind may dispel just as easily as fire leaves an ashy mark on anyone.”💝

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love:

    “amid the polka dots and cigarette butts”
    “stripes unfurl in
    a smoky ambivalence”
    “fire leaves
    an ashy mark on anyone
    bold enough to reach”

    What thought-provoking line breaks.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve captured elusiveness, an oxymoron in itself, in this smoky poem, Phillip. I love the word play in ‘We earned our stripes that night’ and ‘Those stripes unfurl’, and the way the ending wind blows away:
    ‘just as easily as fire leaves
    an ashy mark on anyone
    bold enough to reach’.

    Like

  4. This makes me think of an old film, polka dots, smoking and a dance where the usual things will happen. Writing a story or a poem of the past maybe. As you say, it’s illusory as smoke.

    Like

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