Why My Father Smoked

Jenniffer Lesh

I never knew why my father smoked,
but I remember it was a time
when I could do no better than sit
at his feet before the television, watching
the tobacco in his pipe glow. His forehead
was steep as the slope of god
through spiced smoke and the blue
of the evening news. Just before he'd shake
open a newspaper and block me from sight,
he'd blow me a ring, two, three, fat
as hoopskirts, and as these dissolved
into my laughter, my father
would slide slowly into the silence
of important words and men.

Copyright CrossConnect, Inc. 1996