Ruth Bardon Where There's Smoke

Where there's smoke,
There's a hint.
There's a tickle in your throat;
Things come in and out of focus.
You walk down the driveway
And something
Is wrong.
A memory is stirring:
A bitter taste,
A singed pack of cards,
A strange hard candy in a bowl.
You've stepped out
Into the same November world:
The candy wrapper, the jewel
From the tiara, the scratch
On the car door.
That must be smoke, you think,
But not here.
The fire is always elsewhere.
And what is the smoke?
What is the scarf of it,
Brushing your face?
It's the thump and the thrill
Of being here, not there.


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