Grey Sparrow CoverApril 2011 IssueCrushed. Red and white boxes.
Perfect filters, lights, trays
lazy smoke swirling, relief;
lost in the week's debris.

Clenched. Fists in tattered
pockets. Feeble resolve
rising need and fallen
comfort; tasteless.

Demanding smile, petite feet  
glide across the old cement
beach. Arms fluttering, she
jumps into the verdant sea.

Commands, look at me, Mama.
Dance like a jellyfish, Mama—
like me. Momentarily safe,
temporarily free.


Author's note:

I stopped smoking August 15th, 2001. In the days following 9-11 and my sister-in-law's suicide that November, I struggled to not begin smoking again.

On a beautiful November day, my oldest daughter, Jillian and I were outside on the front porch. She listened to me complain about how awful life was without cigarettes. After fifteen minutes or so, she stood up in front of me and began moving her body up and down while walking sideways with bent knees and floating her arms beside her in the strangest fashion. I said, "What are you, an octopus?" Jillian said, "No, I'm a dancing jellyfish. Come on, Mom. Dance like a Jellyfish! Like me." She looked so beautiful and silly, I couldn't help but laugh. I forgot about smoking and danced like a jellyfish.

(August 15th, 2013 is the twelve year anniversary of my quit date.)


Original Publisher: Grey Sparrow Journal online version
and Print Version - Issue 8 - Spring 2011 (Purchase a copy)

Reprinted with permission in The Glass Sponge
Publisher: Finishing Line Press

Publish Dates

May 2013

Jules Jacob

julie ginkgoJulie "Jules" Jacob is a contemporary poet who often writes about dichotomous conditions and relationships among humans and the natural world. Her poems are recently featured or forthcoming in Plume Poetry, The Tishman Review, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Rust + Moth, Yes Poetry and elsewhere. She is the author of The Glass Sponge chapbook with select poems featured at the Colorado Gallery of the Arts and Le Moulin à Nef where she was a resident of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts Poetry Workshop.

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