Ode to Robert Morse’s Cigar Butt Encased in Plastic or How to Succeed in Writing an Ode Poem Without Really Trying

Here’s to you
Brown frayed blob
In the center of
A foggy, yellow tinted
Cylindrical puck
That could easily be mistaken for
Fossilized excrement.

You souvenir from
My mother’s ushering days
At a Baltimore theater in the round
While Mr. Morse expertly
Played J. Pierpont Finch
And deposited
His cigar
On cue
On a ledge
Each night
Until my mother
Worked up the might
To nab you and use
Her little machine
To preserve you.

Now you sit
Amongst my
Other baubles
And knick-knacks
You oddity
Of an heirloom
From a bygone era
Snatched in
Youthful spontaneity
My one small relic
Bequeathed from a theater kid
that has since grown
connecting me
To a legend of the great white way
Who most of my generation
has never heard of.


Gail Bello is from Waltham Massachusetts. She is a recent BFA grad who writes poetry and plays. She is a Co-editor at Crow Name Studios and a contributing writer for On Stage Blog. She is looking forward to whatever comes next with a positive and hopeful heart. She is thrilled and honored to be published in Rejection Letters. Find her previous publications at https://thaumaturgedramaturge.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @AquajadeGail.