Smoking with John Lennon
we’d meet in the courtyard
of the dakota, me on break
from helping mom clean toilets
him because his wife hated
smokes. his, gauloises bleus
(because he could) mine, kools
(because I wasn’t, yet) we
hardly talked. “mexico?” he
said to me once. “salvador,” I
answered. “same thing,” he laughed
through his nose like he sang. “south
africa?” I asked. “england,” he said.
“same thing,” I said. “Fookin’ right,”
he said. and we were friends all summer.
before I hardshipped to u maine
(“diversity is our university”) I reached
in my pocket. out. he snapped the
fancy blue seal and took one.
stopped. always carried a felt tip.
wrote his name on the cig without
denting a grain. handed it to me.
I turned 50 yesterday. small
fortunes are made on ebay. lit up.
Wayne-Daniel Berard teaches English and Humanities at Nichols College, Dudley, MA. He has published widely in poetry and prose, and is a co-founding editor of Soul-Lit, an online journal of spiritual poetry. He lives in Mansfield, MA, with his wife, The Lovely Christine.