Long Butts

I should feel good, grateful really,
as I leave Shop ‘n’ Save bags full
of fresh produce, soft bread baked today,
Hungry Man dinners on sale,
Salisbury steak and mashed potatoes,
fried chicken with apple crumb cake,
a frozen pizza with a dozen frozen hot wings.

There’s a guy, though, sifting through
the ashtray by the door like an archaeologist,
searching for those precious butts
with a drag or two left on them, regular or menthol
or lipstick coated, doesn’t matter.
He places them in a Ziploc for later.

Right now I am a rich man,
a full pack of smokes in my shirt pocket
better than a six-figure checking account,
better than a diverse investment portfolio
better than a Cayman Islands tax shelter.
I’ve plenty to give,

but I just walk by
surprised at my lack of charity
and praying that I’ll never
have to smoke used cigarettes.



About the Poet:
Richard L. Gegick is from Trafford, PA. His poems and stories have previously appeared in Burrow Press Review, Jenny Magazine, Fried Chicken & Coffee among others. He lives in Pittsburgh where he writes and waits tables.


Photo by Alexis.


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