The Cigarette Break

The office is split
along nicotine lines

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

a solidarity forged
outside the building,
in the elements
for the essential

cigarette break,

comradeship in the line of fire,
friendships forged in the furnace
of office gossip,

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



Note: For my good friend and bestie workmate Lynne Biggs who (I recently found out) passed away from lung cancer.

Looks like the anaconda may have won 😦

14 thoughts on “For you Lynne

  1. Excellent poem, Gabe, with so many layers of meaning.

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

    So true 😦

    I am sorry about your friend.

  2. I’m so sorry, Gabe. Death is sad at any time, but early death seems to cut deeper.
    I quit over 20 years ago and yet I’m still very slowly dying from a smoking related chronic illness. I’m gobsmacked when friends and some relations visit, watch me struggle to breathe, know I now depend on carers to shower me, and yet wander out onto my back deck to have a cigarette. Then there are those who no longer visit, I sense because my reality is too confronting. I say nothing because I’ve lived the hold of nicotine, and I know it’s not a choice we can make for others, no matter how much we wish we could.
    Take care, grief can be debilitating. xx

      1. Gabe, it’s not that I feel they’re being insensitive to me, it’s for them I’m concerned. With me they are confronted with reality, the slow slipping away of independence, that will be the future of many who smoke, and in truth, it seems to make them more desperate to for a cigarette. Our minds are complex and confusing at times – well maybe all the time. 🙂
        It’s a great poem by the way.

        1. Oh I see – confronting smokers with the facts never did have much effect and they do tend to smoke when stressed – addiction is a very complex thing (I worked in the area for over a decade and nothing is simple that’s for sure).

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