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A Puffers' Curse
by Mary Bryant
01/04/05
Not For Sale
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A Puffer’s Curse

32 years ago, I met a friend to be
with a poodle as her pet
so young with a husband and
4 children in her family

I met her in her kitchen, drinking tea,
having dinner, good conversation
then she lit up a cigarette,
one of so many

In time our frienship has grown
And now her years are being counted
Her fingers are badly stained
From that which is inhaled on

Oxygen is her friend now,
Though she doesn’t always use it
The days are filled with continious phlegm
That will overtake and devour her

She was a 3 pack a day smoker
A choice she freely employed
My pleading, crying and tears of sorrow
Have not changed her will to destroy

Whenever I see her in my yearly trek
I never know if this will be the end
I leave in tears and am distressed
And she keeps smoking she enjoys it she says

She has great trouble breathing
Each breath causes her to be filled
with choking, and straining,
Gasping and wheezing

She can barely walk across her kitchen floor
She walks with great effort
Her face is swollen and is red as blood
My heart prays she’d would just quit
But I can’t make her,
its my friends choice to stop

Her lungs are being turned to fragments of flesh
They are black and turning lifeless
Her lungs have been deteriorating
And soon will be disintergrating
Her demise will be to gasp for air
It will not come but leave her there

The lines I see upon her face
Are not from being older,
but from that place
Where every second of her life
She’s addicted, she’s addicted

She will struggle for a time
To try to live, hoping to go on
But her time will be done and she will cease
And I will be called to come and see
her laid out in a casket of wood
she’ll be dressed in her attire of choice
and I finally will see her at peace at last
my prayers finally answered
no more cigarettes.


© Mary Bryant
1-04-05


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