Monday, July 2, 2012


Smoking is still a touchy subject with most smokers. Many things have changed since I wrote this poem about 35 years ago expressing how I felt about those who indulge that unhealthful habit. When the poem appeared in my book, If I Do Say So Myself, I found there were many folks who shared my sentiments, most of which are still relevant. Anyway, here's how I felt then and still feel about smoking:

I sympathize with those who have the habit and can't shake it.
I empathize with those with allergies who cannot take it.
I ostracize the ones whose tainted breath and clothes announce it.
I eulogize the folks who used to smoke and now denounce it.
I criticize those people who despite the risks still do it.
I agonize with those who've lost a friend or loved one to it.
I socialize with those who gave it up or never did it.
I patronize those restaurants and places which forbid it.
I chastise those who jeopardize the health of others by it.
I scrutinize the ads designed to make young people try it.
I minimize permission for those smokers who request it.
I maximize the use of signs, and if none, I suggest it.
I theorize no one would smoke who really understands it.
I sermonize the stewardship of life clearly demands it.

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