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Up in Smoke

My father waits at his table for my delivery a carton of cigarettes, some booze to patch places of laceration his health waning, piecemeal, like a trail of crumbs dismantled independence the coldest solitude of age he lifts the cigarette carton I bring, crashes it to the table "I told you regular smokes, not King size!" flawed purchase on my part, catching his smoky torch of rage my father, no longer a full self of goodness his prostate cancer, a derailment our scripts dysfunctional that divide us like broken cement still, I shop for him, a life alone in a gray wasteland my duty, a quest for inner peace the familiar charity in my father drifts from him like cigarette ash, up in smoke I kiss his cheek before I go unguarded moment to heal battlefield wounds to open barricades between us the battered stumble of hope Poem composed: January 23/2022 Poetry Contest: This or That Volume 9 For Edward Ibeh

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022




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Date: 2/7/2022 8:55:00 PM
I feel your grief and your agitation over the reactions of your father.... a man suffering from terminal cancer ! His inner agony comes out in the form of anger even to his children. Still you understand him and try your best to mend the broken relationship. This poem is so beautifully crafted that it pulls hard at the heart strings !
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 2/7/2022 9:40:00 PM
Thank you, Valsa. You are right that my father was at war with his pain. My father's prostate cancer metastasis to his bones took him soon after an evening fall. Your message to me is most thoughtful. Best wishes. Brian
Date: 2/6/2022 5:57:00 AM
Your poetry has wonderful imagery. I could so clearly see the scene as if I was sitting before my television screen. Heartfelt condolence for your loss. Take care and God bless you and those you adore.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 2/6/2022 6:12:00 AM
I appreciate your positive response to my poem, Valerie. It's very kind of your to drop by. My mother is currently still with us in her 100th year. My poem "Quest" is a tribute to her fortitude. Best wishes always. Brian
Date: 1/31/2022 9:39:00 PM
Tragic and yet the touch of love displayed, so endearing!
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 2/1/2022 6:05:00 AM
Thank you for your stop by Seeker, + noting that love persists in a difficult relationship. Best wishes, Brian
Date: 1/31/2022 9:17:00 PM
Oh, Brian, this is so sad. So difficult the relationships between parent and child... it's a beautiful poem.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/31/2022 9:26:00 PM
Thank you Ann. I did have a troubled relationship with my dad. Booze often alters disposition + that was so with my father. Still, his work ethic was commendable. My appreciation for your stop by. Sincerely, Brian
Date: 1/31/2022 4:24:00 PM
I feel like I visualize your poem as I read it. You're a really good writer.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/31/2022 6:46:00 PM
Your kind remarks, Catherine, note one of my objectives - to pull the reader into my narrative. Most thoughtful of you to stop by. All the best, Brian
Date: 1/31/2022 2:49:00 PM
Very moving. Beautifully written.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/31/2022 6:43:00 PM
Greetings Julie, Your affirmative note is a warming, sunny ray on this cold day in January. Thank you. Brian
Date: 1/31/2022 1:33:00 PM
Great work Brian. You are an excellent word craftman.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/31/2022 6:41:00 PM
Hello Douglas, Most appreciative of your stop by + uplifting take on my poem. Sincerest regards, Brian
Date: 1/30/2022 5:08:00 PM
So sad, it's a problem when someone has cancer from smoking. Well done.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/30/2022 6:16:00 PM
Hello ML. Thank you for your note. My dad avoided lung cancer from smoking but developed prostate cancer, something which I now have. Be well. Sincerely, Brian
Date: 1/30/2022 12:28:00 PM
I feel the anger in your father battling against the cancer and the transferring of his misplaced anger. We humans are complex creatures. Another great write Brian. Cheers - Gary
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/30/2022 12:56:00 PM
Thank you, Gary. You are correct - my father was a very complex man who struggled with addictions to thwart decades of physical pain. Here the cancer rages in him. Much appreciate your stop by + thoughts. Brian
Date: 1/28/2022 7:51:00 AM
Truly amazing, poignant work here, Brian:-) Your poetry packs a wallop! Heartiest congratulations on your win in my contest. I'm sorry for your loss.
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/28/2022 8:03:00 AM
Thanks very much for your thoughtful assessment of my poem. Your contests, Edward, consistently include intriguing titles to prompt verse. My appreciation for your sympathy on the loss of my dad. I lost him some years ago. Be well. Brian
Date: 1/26/2022 11:59:00 PM
Sorry for your loss, Brian. The process of passing, and the way it affects relationships is different for each relationship. The kiss was a great start to healing the wounds. I pray that your Creator will bless and keep you. A poet friend, Bill
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/27/2022 5:25:00 AM
Hello Bill, I appreciate your thoughtful remarks on my piece + sympathy. To me, making peace with one's parents is paramount no matter past conflict. My dad was a very troubled soul. Sincerest regards, Brian
Date: 1/25/2022 7:56:00 PM
Your writings are very interesting to read. This is one of them. Beautiful. Congratulations!
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/25/2022 8:26:00 PM
Thank you, Christuraj. Much of my work is narrative rooted in autobiography or from images I see in an urban to forest landscape. Be well. Sincerely, Brian
Date: 1/23/2022 11:56:00 AM
Wonderful sincere and raw Brian, you tell it as you see it, no glossing over the broken cement if indeed it’s broken at all, us males can have strange complex relationships with our fathers I know I certainly did, we loved each other without saying it, your doing your best, don’t ever doubt it, cheers David
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David Kavanagh
Date: 1/23/2022 12:46:00 PM
Sorry to hear your Dad passed Brian, I think I read this in the present tense, perhaps that fiestiness helped him deal with such an unforgiving disease, cheers
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Brian Sambourne
Date: 1/23/2022 12:02:00 PM
Hello David, Thank you for your kind words. I lost my dad about a year later after this episode, to prostate cancer that metastasized to his bones. He made it to age 81, feisty to the end. My appreciation for your insightful comments. Be well. Brian (Thank you, David. My dad lived a full life but much of his anger in the last months was from the loss of a functioning self, a body betrayed. Take care of yourself. Brian)