Rings of Smoke


Every afternoon our eyes
met – she stared like the
grocery man – and my friends.

She sits to rest on a metal
milk box – our side homogenized
grandmother upstairs –

She takes a swig from a
bottle of beer, lights a Chester –
field.  Smoking, she calls it,
she takes it inside – holds
it – holds it inside for such a
long – time, and it floats out of
her nose.

Her mouth a circle – as rings
of smoke exit her lip’s, divided
by her tongue – moving it a little
to the left or right, changes each
circle – she made me laugh –
All Mamas in the neighborhood
smoked cigarettes –
wore halter tops, and a red
kerchief on their forehead to
keep sweat from rolling down
their face onto a tube top –

All Mamas wear tube tops. . .
shove Kleenex inside to look
big – but you see,
Mama never said that.

Nancy Duci Denofio – © all rights reserved 2011

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