Karl Stuart Kline
(2.42) Cigarettes (Stealing Moments From Their Masters...) - Poem by Karl Stuart Kline
They’re one of your few pleasures,
But they’re bad for you, you know...
You laugh at the statistics,
There’re more likely ways to go.
You have nothing to live for...
You lost your life long ago
Because it’s no longer yours,
Sold the first time you went on show
On the slavers’ auction block,
Betrayed by your one true friend,
You stood shivering in your smock
As he brought you to a bad end
There’re worse things than cigarettes,
As you’ve come to know too well.
Life was going well, you thought,
But now you’re living in Hell,
Not the life that you had planned,
Doing ev’rything you can,
A slave for every demand...
Submissive to any man
You can no longer deny
A man his perverse pleasure
As your pimp takes his money
And then he takes your measure...
Once you tried to refuse
Only to meet with laughter
As you were beaten and abused,
Hung by ropes from the rafters
You were raped again and again,
Men stood in line for “fresh meat, ”
Some you knew as the policemen
Who “protect” you on the street
So now you can’t go home
(You’ve seen others die for less...)
You couldn’t hide your shame
No matter how you dressed...
It just doesn’t matter that
Others share your sad laughter
Puffing on their cigarettes,
Stealing moments from their masters...
The “masters” who snatch children
Or buy them from their parents
And sometimes take young women,
Selling away their innocence
You smoke your cigarette now,
Slow, to make the moment last
Cherishing memories of
Innocence from days long past...
Now nothing belongs to you...
Memories are all you have,
No one can take them from you...
You’ll carry them to your grave.
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