Cigarettes and Rain Water

By Grant McLaughlin

The storm clouds roll
through the sky.

Bringing cool winds and grey
skies to this otherwise
blue,  blank canvas.

The farmer sits on the porch
of the house his Daddy and his Daddy's Daddy
lived in.

He sits on the old wooden chair
his Grandfather made  from that 
Acorn tree in the front yard.

He grabs the pack of lucky strikes on his table.
The same brand he been smoking 
since he started stealing cigarettes
out of his Mama's purse
and smokin em out behind the Silo.

Not much else to do on a corn farm
in Kentucky.

He lights his smoke,
and he hears those sirens 
by the old High school 
start to blair.

Rain comin.

He sits there on that porch chair
puffin away while a storm comes down.
It poured and poured just like it did when 
he was young and his Daddy would set out 
buckets collecting rain water to feed
his crops long after the rain stopped.

He remembered his Daddy always made him sip 
from the bucket to taste for pollution.
A kind of Family Tradition.

He smoked down his tobacco until it burned his
finger tips. He tossed it into
the ashtray, 
the same one his Mama
ashed into after dinner
while she read the local paper
at the kitchen table.

The rain poured heavily
on the already soaked ground.

The Farmer grabs another cigarette,
places it between his lips and casually 
lights it.

He walks into the kitchen
where his family ate sunday dinner.

He gets a cup from the cabinet 
above the sink and he stares at 
his Parent's wedding photo he put up
on the wall by that old fridge.

The smell of the smoke lingered in the air,
just like it would
when Uncle Tommy came to visit when
he was playin poker and smokin with Dad
all night long.

He walks back out onto the 

He stares into the storm
while rain water falls from his eyes,
happy memories and good times.

He takes a deep drag on his 
half smoked cigarette.
Places the cup under the rain.

The rain fills the cup
and the farmer drinks heavily,
tasting for his childhood.

Published by Grant McLaughlin

Poet and Journalist. email me at

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