First Cigarette

Teddy strikes a Bogart pose…

My friend John Ziegler doesn’t publish much poetry, but he should.  Maybe this will give him a shove.  His ability to capture a moment in time is so fine.  Some atta boys from readers might help.

Skinny bare legs over
the edge of the garage roof,
Measle takes a drag
on the unfiltered Pall Mall,
coughs like a clogged lawnmower.
Teddy strikes a Bogart pose,
heavy eyelids,
cig between thumb and forefinger.
Chippy lets a smoke feather
trail from her delicious lips,
Detective Magazine,
the guy looming, fedora
the woman dreamy.
Reverend Cartwright hollers from the window,
shakes a dust mop.  “Calling the cops!”
We walk Chippy under the linden trees,
sit on her porch,
no one ready to go home
to Dad parking the Plymouth,
the dog shivering with joy,
ham and boiled cabbage,
Grandma calling in the dark
for a half a glass of water.

– John Ziegler