I don’t smoke weed anymore

A free verse poem.

I don’t smoke weed anymore.
As a matter of fact,
It’s been more than twenty years
Since I last hit the chronic
With my friend Ricky
Down at the campsite.

But sometimes
I catch a whiff of the Mary Jane
Being smoked by the neighborhood kids
Where I live now, who seem to think
All adults

Are olfactory-challenged
Or, dumb
Or, both.
But not me.

I know what the ganja smells like
The wacky tobacky
The funk of yo skunk
And, I know what time it is
When it’s 4:20.

And so, when I smell grass
That’s not really grass
It takes me back to a different time
To a place where the sticky residue of Funyuns
Still lives on the tips of your fingers

Where cheese puffs were blazed on fire
And wine was drank by a fire
Deep into the night
But not before we grabbed our skateboards
And bombed the hill at 1 a.m. leading out of town

But really, I never liked weed
Because unlike 99% of people who smoke weed
For me,
It increased my anxiety
Which I didn’t even know I had back then.

So, instead of geeking out like my friends
I sat there high on alert, quite literally,
Watching for cops, while drinking
A can of grape soda
Eating bag after bag of BAR-B-Q Fritos.

Photo by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

By Jeffrey Pillow

Jeffrey Pillow is an American short story writer, memoirist, and poet. He is the author of The Lady Next Door. His writing has been published in Urge Magazine, The Nervous Breakdown, 16 Blocks, USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, New York Times, Washington Post, and Richmond Times-Dispatch.

He grew up in the small town of Phenix, Virginia, population: 200, and now lives in Charlottesville with his wife, two kids, and a dog named Mozzarella Cheese. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he was a Rainey Scholar. This is his blog.

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