Last (blank)

For today’s prompt, take the phrase “Last (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Last Word,” “Last Card Catalog,” “Lasting Impression,” “Last Train to Duluth,” and so on.

I made a list of lasts: last page, last night, last in line, last word, card, impression, cup of coffee, slice of bread, and last cigarette. I stopped listing and knew I had my topic.

Some of this poem refers to a friend and his girlfriend. Not exclusively, but the friend part. Smoking is an insidious addiction, and in many cases it takes more than willpower to quit. Sometimes I think a group effort with a live-in smoker is even harder. It might seem that dual support would make it easier, but also, when one caves, the other caves too. Double the chances of caving in. But I don’t really know. I have never smoked. These what-ifs and poetic speculations are based entirely on observation. The theme of the poem is the difficulty quitting. In fact, many people never quit, or they only quit when they can no longer light up on their own. For many, the final solution is the only solution. At least in my poetry-mind.

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Last Cigarette

I’ve quit smoking, this time
it’s for real, Those 742 previous attempts
were merely practice. I have a permanent plan, this time.
Last time, I tried to do it with a friend
but she drove me back to the butts with her nagging. And the time before
there was that night at a bar.
You can’t hope to quit anything, at a bar.
No, this time is different. I’m finally serious, you’ll see
There’s only one way, to take
the last cigarette from me.

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