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  • Tom Squitieri

French Girls Smoking Cigarettes

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

When they light up

They look up

And I make sure

I see those eyes

As they inhale

They draw deeply

The smoke

And their eyes

Go deeply

Into mine

The French girls

Are not sure

Where I am from

Or who I am

But they pause

Between early puffs

And talk

Sweet soft French

I search for my


Pack of cigarettes

Feign frustration

Until one offers

A Gitane to me

A smile both ways

Needs no translation

Jeans and heels and flowing

blouses rise

As the Gitane makes its

Way to my table

The French girls smoking


Carefully remind me of the best way

To light a smoke

As they strike the match,

Take the first puff on full lips

Then hand me the cigarette

With its lipstick

In return, I remind them

Of things

They once thought about,

With now the matches in my hand

Tom Squitieri is a three-time winner each of the Overseas Press Club and White House Correspondents’ Association awards for his work as a war correspondent. He reported from all seven continents, always writing as a voice for the voiceless. His writing and reporting have been published in an array of newspapers and magazines. His poetry has appeared in Ariel Chart, Wanderlust Journal, The Raven's Perch, The Literary Yard, Eskimo Pie, No Strings Attached, Style Sonata and The Griffin’s Inkpot.

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