I’m down to my last pack

so out I go across the road

to the convenience store

the one with the 99-cent

Pepsi’s and the overly-

priced gasoline


I’m not dressed for public

certainly not like I had

considered who I might see

so I’m wearing old jeans

a floppy, comfy t-shirt

and my black yard shoes

who am I going to impress


there’s always that one lady

at the register ahead of me

buying a number 3

2 number 4’s and of

course 3 number 7’s

she expects there to

be money buried there

under those scratch-offs


I wait impatiently

behind this lady gambler

ask for my preferred carton

only to be interrupted

by the loud-talking

guy coming in the door

who has to continue

his conversation

from a distance with

his friend who is still

outside at the pump


now, finally, I can pay

and go back across the road

in my dirty yard shoes

I didn’t impress anyone

just like I thought

I’m reminded why being

out in public really isn’t

my favorite thing


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on January 9, 2016, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 45 Comments.

  1. So we live and learn…. 😉

  2. There’s not a day goes by that I’m not grateful to be free from cigarettes and addiction’s ability to take me places where I don’t want to go in conditions I don’t want to be seen in. Great poem reminding me to appreciate my hard-won freedom. I can relate to every line.

  3. I can relate to this as well 🙂

  4. This wouldn’t have any relationship to the doctor’s orders, would it? Geesh! Of course no one is going to make me give up my own drugs of choice–Anything crunchy saturated with fat and salt. I’d walk a mile in my jammies for a stick of butter.

  5. I never looked forward to being out in public either. I’ve been free of the coffin nails for over twenty-five years now and realize that my problem was not being in the public eye so much as “who” might see me when I did venture out. As usual a good read.;)

  6. I really enjoyed reading this poem. It definitely sounds a lot like the town i live in. Good work! And thanks for following my blog.

  7. septembersrose

    I despise things that force me out of my shell. Also, I’ve always had an obsession with the inclusion of cigarettes in poetry, despite (or maybe because) I don’t smoke and don’t hang out around anyone that does.

    • Thank you! 🙂 The truly introverted never seem to get excited about being out there in public. You’re right, the smokes are a bad habit but it’s a hard on to break.

  8. A very honest depiction of people like us who don’t like to move out from their safe havens but have to!
    Thanks for passing by my blog and liking it! I checked back,and found an amazing treasure of work here! 🙂
    Keep writing, and inspiring!

  9. almost unbearable
    what one must do
    to smoke ’em
    if you got ’em 🙂

  10. I think of it as invisibility. Not carrying so much to impress people and just going out to do what you need to do. I like how this ends, it resonates as I tend to step out to do something and realize how public places often feel like incessant noise.

    As to the poetry I like the subtle rhyme in these lines:

    at the register ahead of me

    buying a number 3

    2 number 4’s and of

    course 3 number 7’s

    Enjoyed the writing and story telling.

  11. Should we be concerned about the fashion sense of those we don’t know and never will?

    I roll my own cigarettes.

  12. Oh venturing into story telling!!! Very good.

  13. I am an extreme introvert and prefer not to deal with the public.

  14. Really gives you a great series of images in your head. You turn the mundane into great art. Cheers 🙂

  15. hah I loved it~

  16. Thank you! 🙂 Leaving the comfort of the nest can be a drain especially for the introverted. And then there are days when going out is the last thing we want to do. It’s great to meet you!

  1. Pingback: Free-for-all Friday | Edwina's Episodes

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