That’s the thing about habits, good or bad

They slip unnoticed into daily life until unique shadows

meld to become one, and one without the other drives even a calm person mad

Recognized far too late, these choice habits morph into those

deigned unfit, something to surrender, something to quit

and after many a false start, many dates passed by,

yesterday and yesterday circled in red with fixations unrelented

I found the resolve, I promised to commit

I began the quest though the call of routine did preoccupy

days, even minutes…how those old shadows tempted and tormented

Like many vices, mine began with youth

a smoke shared between friends, a pack to last a week

often paired with whiskey, wine or sweet vermouth

Slipping unnoticed, a normal routine, twenty plus a day at its peak

and like all pesky rituals incorporated into a day, it stuck somehow

until ten, twenty, thirty years passed by and now I’m perplexed

That’s the thing about habits, good or bad

Forgoing a thing you’ve done for years, to disavow

is not impossible. It’s the what to do next

as if in your own life, you’ve been cast the role of nomad

And so I’ve gone a week or three

I’ve cleared some hurdles and moved some debris

Still struggling some days with this new way of writing

The urge to light up, just one… I’m fighting, fighting

while mourning the loss of this old habit, as bad as it was

that filled the spaces where nothing happened just because

It’s funny how getting turned on its side brings fresh perspective

sometimes making moments of adjustment frustrating and ineffective

Until that morning when old habits seem not to matter

the familiar making room for whatever comes after

photo: Flickr/Raul Lieberwirth


  1. Good for you this is great! Just a day at a time. I understand bad habits can be hard to break. I read somewhere that you replace it with a new one and that often works better (not a bad habit but a better one). For instance, when you sit down to write grab a cuppa whatever and two twizzlers to munch and hold in your fingers while you write. Supposedly they are a candy that is good got you. Best of luck and great poem!

    Liked by 1 person

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