You can be forgiven
for being a pipe,
for not being made of bog oak

or soapstone but ordinary,
the color of a chestnut
and just as smooth,

burnished by patient hands,
always willing to accept
the pinch of tobacco—

Amphora, Extra Mild Cavendish—
that forefinger and thumb plumbed
from the pouch, crinkling,

never shying from the sharp flare
of the match, allowing the glow
of fragrant fire in your body

to warm the night, while the robe
of your gentle smoke lay upon us
like a benediction.