(Mary McCarthy Lynch, 1867-1949)
Back when I used to smoke, I’d stub them out
in crystal ashtrays all around the house
that turned my stomach, emptied in the trash.
Times when I slipped the last one from the pack
too late at night to risk a run for more
at some gas station slash convenience store,
I’d comb through ashes for the longest butts
and light them up again without disgust.
* * * * * * * *
Minnie McCarthy scandalized the town
of Knockmullane, Cork, turning Jack Lynch down.
Pretty girls wanted American fun,
not boredom in Ireland with a farmer’s son!
He followed her over and found her on her knees
scrubbing Protestant toilets for a couple bucks a week
and proposed to her again with no resistance met.
He was the longest butt she was going to get.