The Marlboro Woman is Gone

Written by: Gwendolen Rix

The Marlboro Woman
You were glamorous, a bomb shell beauty in your prime
No wonder he fell for you that night you danced on stage with Tina Turner
You were the show stopper of his dreams
You associated "lighting up" with Judy Garland or Vivian Lee
Dangling cigarettes like diamonds upon your fingers
Oh, you were so wrong
Remember the phone calls?
Ka-zillions of them 
Begging you to quit
Remember when you asked me what I wanted for my 30th birthday?
You lied again…you were never going to quit…
You were its prisoner being drug to the gallows
Eventually no more picturesque bike rides at dawn
Years later you were dependent on oxygen around the clock
How glamorous was that necklace?
A month later reduced to grocery shopping in a motorized cart
Huffing and puffing
Coughing and hacking…you were so distracting
How could you have been so selfish with your health?
Your panicked expressions
Hanging by your fingertips to the hands of father time
Sneaking a drag in the bathroom while hooked up to your oxygen
Everyone could read the FLAMMABLE sign on the door
You could have blown us up!
You couldn’t abandon your nicotine addiction 
Craving it like chocolate
Once a chain smoker… then chained to your oxygen…
Now the Marlboro Woman is gone

Entry for Miss Poet Destroyer's Mother's Day Poetry Contest
By Gwendolen Rix

In Honor of My Mother Constance