First Date

I was twenty-one, self assured, reasonably attractive;

Spreading my wings a bit, testing sophistication

In a black sheath with one bright flower on my shoulder.


I have no idea who my date was that night.

I remember we met friends of his at a popular club,

Four or five couples in a clique-y cluster of tables.


The evening was pleasant enough, people friendly,

Although I found them boringly self- oriented.

Everybody smoked heavily, the room a grey fog.


With inherent asthma, I was barely coping, but still,

When my date offered me a cigarette, I took it.

'When in Rome....... etc. etc. and etc.!'


I put it between my lips with studied nonchalance.

He cupped a flaming match to the tip,

And the match went out.


He struck another one …..

And the match went out.

I was suddenly aware of total silence.


Every eye was fixed on his flaring match.

He lit a third one, held it to my mouth,

And the match went out!


He sat back and stared at his melting drink.

Softly, he asked, 'Have you ever smoked before?'



'You're supposed to breathe in, not out.'

He pulled the cigarette out of my lips

And ground it into the ashtray.'Don't start!'


He was a good dancer, and so was I.

We enjoyed each other, but he never called again.

I could understand that.




Cynthia Buell Thomas, June, 2020

◄ First Job, First Day



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Fri 19th Jun 2020 11:45

A perfectly formed poetic short-story. I really like this one.

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Fri 19th Jun 2020 00:39

A charmingly told tale... I enjoyed this.

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M.C. Newberry

Thu 18th Jun 2020 00:32

I remember a regular media/print feature of years ago named
"Life's Like That". This fits its theme perfectly.

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Nigel Astell

Wed 17th Jun 2020 02:15

Where there is no smoke
there is no fire.

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Tue 16th Jun 2020 16:45

No excuses - just enjoying myself.

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