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Smokey by Ian Mason-Smolka

There he sat,
shielded by the thick blanket of cigarette smoke rising like the steam from Grandma’s tea kettle.
Grabbing the Old Granddad
he uttered in his smoke-ridden tone, “I want you to bury me with this,”
the bourbon scent is consuming the air between us.
I laughed, not seeing the day’s rapid approach.
He enlisted at fourteen.
He fought in Korea.
“You will outlive us all,” I reminded, eyes darting from wall to wall.
Pop wrapped his hand around my forearm,
the tension,
cooling the room.
Pop’s shoulders
Straightened and Statuesque,
“Don’t let me down.”


Originally Published in Welter 2008

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