The cigarette break

The cigarette break

The office is split along nicotine lines

smokers get the breaks
smokers get the breaking news
there’s power in the union of the smokers

a solidarity forged
outside the building
in the cold

cigarette break

comradeship in the line of fire
friendship forged in the furnace
of office gossip

crossing the nicotine lines
is harder for smokers
than extracting oneself from the grip of an


30 thoughts on “The cigarette break

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  1. Long live the smokers! I’m thinking of moving to Europe where smokers are still allowed a few basic human rights.
    Great poem – I am the only smoker in my office of 30, we are a dying breed.

  2. I’ve often wished I could have the perks that smokers have with their breaks etc, though I’ve never wanted to smoke.

    In Scotland, now that smoking isn’t even allowed in pubs, the pavements in the evenings are full of groups of men smoking, hardly nice

  3. Love this Gabe… the lines have certainly been drawn for smokers. I remember coming home from poetry gigs, with that heady smell of cigarettes in the folds of your jacket. I can’t say I miss it… but the wire cages that have been established to house the smokers seem a little bit on the drastic side.

  4. I’ve never smoked but my husband smoked until 3 years ago. It didn’t bother me that much. What does bother me is the butts. Stop chucking them on the ground and in the sea, smokers. It’s very uncool.

    Incidentally, my husband started smoking at 15 because he worked in a factory and the smokers got more breaks so they could have their fags. Many people in those days took up smoking for the same reason.

    I think to make it fair they should have chocolate breaks for the non-smokers πŸ˜†

    Great poem, as usual!

    1. Thanks Ben – they must be brave going out in the cold. I’m always amazed by the patients in hospitals who go downstairs and outside to a dedicated area to have a smoke (when that is probably the reason they are in there).

  5. I work in the film industry, where many people smoke to kill time waiting hours for shots to get set up. I used to be one of them. No more. But sometimes I still stand around with them in solidarity.

    I`m with Selma regarding the chocolate breaks. Only fair.

  6. wonderful observations.

    I love how the Accidental Novelist stands with them in

    I have looked at this one several times.
    wonderful observations.

    1. Thanks opoetoo – I love to observe and ponder (why I became a psychologist I suppose – not that I do that now, but it’s like being a catholic, once a psych always a psych). Plus it take one to know one – hahaha.

      1. Your comment took me to “It Tango” by Laurie Anderson:

        ….He said: Isn’t it. Isn’t it just
        like a woman?

        She said: It takes.
        It takes one.
        It takes one to.
        It takes one to know one…………..


  7. I hate to make an off topic comment, but I am here to shyly introduce myself at the suggestion of our mutual and very Querulous friend. I will take some time later to peruse your blog, but she recommended that I come here as I too have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. i don’t know if it’s enough of a commonality to forge a friendship, but it’s a possibility I am willing to explore. Hope you have a terrific evening!

    1. Fabulous Storm Dweller – it is a commonality that forges many friendships in my experience. I will check your blog out too when I have a momement. That fluffly squirrel knows a thing or too – haha.

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