Monday, March 24, 2008


for ReadWritePoem March 24, 2008
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I stand in the office
of the motel we own
and watch our newest guests
get out of their vehicle.

Both people have cigarettes
in their mouths.
They unload their bags
then throw their butts

on the ground.
I have buckets with sand
placed around the building
for cigarette disposal

but, instead, they leave
those flattened white stubs
on my clean driveway,
looking like broken

crayons left in the sun
to melt. I retrieve my long-
handled dustpan and broom
then go outside

to sweep up their litter
and deposit it
in one of the sand buckets.
Out of the corner

of my eye, I see the woman
staring at me from their room.
She quickly closes
the curtains.


paisley said...

i am a smoker,, but i would never litter someones yard, home parking lot etc with my habit... i do not want you or anyone else telling me where i may or may not smoke,, but with equal respect, i maintain my habit as my own... and do not inflict it on others, in the past or present tense...

i am hoping that your patron understood and will respect that which is yours in the future.....

Christine said...

The spookiest part is when the woman peers out at the narrator.

I think years ago people didn't think about all those butts accumulating in unwanted places. As time goes on, more smokers are aware of the litter, as I'm sure paisley is.

I hate finding them in the sand at the beach.

A thought provoking narrative poem, with delicate lines.

gautami tripathy said...

This is so common here too despite having no-smoker zones. Poeople just do not care.

Hope that woman learnt her lesson...

Anonymous said...

OMG--i love the broken crayons image for the cigarette butts! it's perfect!

i realy really like this--like the small narrative, the big picture, thanks for letting me peak through the curtains

Crafty Green Poet said...

I like the way you've written this - the woman watching at the end is intriguing, what is going through her head?

Jo said...

This reads like a film clip, is very well done Linda, great ending too.

chicklegirl said...

Absolutely love the last part. Some people are respectful about the impact their personal habits have on others, and some not so much. This was a great commentary on that, without being preachy: a peeve eloquently expressed!

anthonynorth said...

As a smoker, all that's needed is good ventilation, even better manners, and respect for others.
I'm as annoyed as anyone else by people blowing smoke in my face and littering.

Linda's Poems