Please Quit

Smokers are a special breed,
who say they have an urgent need
to smoke when bored, or under stress,
from bills, to wills--and life I guess.
And then when sick, or told to quit,
they try, but some have to admit,
they're hooked, and struggle as they might,
the cigarettes are hard to fight.
"Just one wont hurt", they softly say,
trying to find an easy way.

They talk themselves into just one,
then realize the harm is done.
One turns to ten, and then some more.
They smoke as many as before!
Poor lungs complain--they cough and spit.
Say something and they'll have a fit!
Frustration, anger at one's self,
is vented on those trying to help.
"Stop preaching at me all the time,"
is a favorite smoker's line.

"When you complain, I smoke some more.
To calm my nerves is what is for".
The fight goes on, for years sometimes,
with smokers handing out those lines.
While all the time they know they're lying!
Deep down inside they know they're dying!
Some lucky ones can break away,
but others in their grave will lay.
How sad is each one's shortened life!
How lonely for each grieving wife,
or husband, parent, child, or friend,
who suffered with them 'till the end.

An empty void, that once was filled
with vital life, which now is stilled,
remains for those they left behind.
Those left, reach deep inside, and find,
a poultice for their troubled mind.
The memories, both bad and good,
do what no words from others could.
The good ones comfort and bring near,
sweet moments, watered with a tear.

The bad ones are a lesson in life,
for parent, child, husband, or wife.
How we use what we have learned,
Will touch the lives of all concerned.
For those of us who still will smoke,
remember what it's like to choke,
and struggle for each gasping breath,
until released in peaceful death.
Consider those who're left behind,
Quit now, and surely you will find,
that with God's help, your choice to live,
to loved ones as a gift can give.

by Brenda Fry