when we were young

the air was a constant blue haze

from the ever present burning tobacco

mixed with the smell of cheap coffee

in kitchens, living room and meeting places

where the gathering of drunks

even though off their drink

still needed their drugs


the smells of cigarettes, pipes and cigars

became one mixed with the smells of cheap coffee

and fear

stories were told

condolences offered

advice given

one day at a time

work the program

none of this helped

the drunks came and went

leaving only the memories

of pain, loss and regret


now, i drink coffee

and strive to understand the drunken catastrophe

that destroyed our family

but it all seems like a bad dream to me now

Copyright Michael Douglas Scott