The First and Last Cigarette

My last cigarette
As smoked
On the eighteenth of January 2008
On Coronation Street outside the famous old Lads Club

Given to me
By Bonehead
He’d bought a load of them back from Spain
Low tar
Harmless
He said they didn’t really count

And then
Of course I had a mini relapse
When my girl went away
Three weeks on my own
And my routine
Disintegrated

I’d almost forgotten that

I suppose I like to kid myself
That I have given up
When only three weeks ago
I was having a crafty puff
In the middle of the night
After making another record
Talking to frogs
And not blaming the drugs

I went out with friends
Last week and I never had one
I promise you that
Although I was really tempted I never went back
To cadge a roll up from a mate on the steps of the book shop
Watching young girls skip and scream and cavort in the summer rain

And thinking it might be nice to be 17 again and
to be
Smoking my very first cigarette
Once more

A consulate menthol-filter in a wooden bus shelter at 9.13am on the 2nd March 1973
My best friend Strad and me

Late for school

And without a care in the world

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VINNY PECULIAR