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Light it Up This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

Unknown
Before you go outside to light it up,
And you watch the crisp paper burn with eachbreath,
Know that you are burning your life away.
With every puff,
Youinhale death.
Day after day you stand outside,
And let the smoke billowfrom your mouth,
Like a factory's ugly smokestack,
And you don't seem tocare about my feelings
Every time I ask you to stop, you tellme,
"It's my body,"
Or "I can do what I want todo."
You shrug me off,
And even yell at me.
You don't seem to carehow much it hurts me,
To see you going out onto the deck,
And lighting upyour white cancer stick.
I don't understand you.
Your dad died of lungcancer,
And your brother of a heart attack.
You say it's because theysmoked all their lives,
But ... wait
When I think about it, so haveyou.
Since you were fifteen.
You say you'll quit
Or you can stop anytimeyou want,
But you never do.
You stop for maybe a week,
Sometimes a montheven,
But it will never end.
Don't you know that you are killing yourself?
Please, Mom!
What can I say to make you stop? I'll do anything!
I'llsay anything!
Just don't go!
    Don't
       Light
          It
          Up.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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