“Old Photos” by Pat St. Pierre

I never saw my mother smoke;
didn’t smell her lingering breath
or see her brown stained teeth;
nor did I take in the stench
of the smoke.
I was told about the swirls
of smoke circling her head
and yellowish stain on her fingers.
But she kept her secret from me;
our house was off limits to her activity
so, I guess she found a different place
to engage in her pastime.
I told people who would ask,
“No my mother never smoked.”
After she passed away I was looking
through old photos
and discovered her secret.
I could almost taste
the photo’s smoke in my throat;
I choked from the suffocation and heaviness.


Pat St. Pierre is a freelance writer of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. Her third poetry book “Full Circle” was published by Kelsay Books. Her writings have been published both online and in print. You may view some of her work at: Indiana Voice Journal, Outlaw Poetry, 50 word Stories, Scarlet Leaf Review, Whisperings, Black Poppy Review, etc. She is also a freelance photographer whose photos have been online and on covers of the following: Gravel, Front Porch Review, Peacock Journal, Sediments, etc. Her blog is www.pstpierre.wordpress.com.

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