Humanitas 2019 A Literary Journal of the Medical University of South Carolina Volume 23

On the Anniversary of my Father's Diagnosis

Tom Smith | Faculty, Academic Affairs Faculty

Cradled in a Dogwood branch,
a friend once said, “Nobody looks cool smoking,
except your dad.”

But he quit that same spring,
made a deal with my sister.

Astride an ice cream churn,
he smoked his last cigarette,
waved the wooden handle
round and round
until the dasher stopped
to let him rest and breathe
and stretch an aching back.

As he took off his cap
and took a drag,
the gray mist disappeared
above his head.

He smiled at the sweet peach cream below,
feet and legs wrapped in a second mist
from his frost-shagged bucket,
silently leaking its marrow.

His daughter’s cool charm,
a four-decade spell.


Multiple Myeloma in 2005:

Median Survival, 3 years

Smoking is not a risk factor.

American Cancer Society


Previous  |  Next