At Age Five Asking Dad for My One and Only Cigarette

Robert_bio_photo_1___version_3__1_by Robert L. Ferrier19 Sep 2014

Smoke curled from my dad’s Pall Mall
a red dot punctuating the day.
He exhaled a cloud toward lightning bugs
adding cumulus to their stars.

Somewhere behind his eyes
I sensed a tipping beam.
He flipped his Zippo, lit my wish
a white stick of “grownup candy.”

All night my mother sat close by as I threw up.
Now I look back in time through Dad’s hooded stare
as he balanced future accounts
compounding the interest paid forward.