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the end of the cigarette

the end of the cigarette

i smoked a cigarette today and drank a glass of milk
set on a log both i and the milk were beading sweat
now and then i leaned the column of the cigarette against
a flake of bark that used to generate the very life of this tree
now a log i sat on indifferent to me in the yellow sunlight

the cigarette was from a yellow pack with a picture
of an indian in war dress smoking a peace pipe
while it curled close strictures of smoke
pulsed upward by the heat from its own glowing tip
i deliberated on the price of peace the new bombs effectiveness

some of their bellies slosh with fire some now bear disease
that eats with ever open mouth never discriminates
rushes panic eyed to vomit in mass graves hastens back
in onslaughts of infection stooping to scoop and pit more fruits
from the delivered womb of a chosen nation

what did i discern apart from the cigarette end
lost at days close in a dirt hole i let it fall
from my hand it rolled away in the dark and died
without a breath of smoke or any gesture of good will
among forgiven enemies between my body and the earth


Photo credit
Daniel Hyland

Daniel Hyland

Daniel is a Catholic writer and voice artist living in the Shenandoah Valley with his wife and daughter. He believes in the power of beauty in life, nature and art as a tool of evangelism, and seeks to follow Christ through study, work and prayer. His favorite book of the Bible is the Song of Songs because of the stunning intimacy it presents both with regard to the sacrament of marriage and the marital union with God to which every soul is called in Christ. He is the proud owner of a small collection of facial hair, charitably termed a mustache.

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