Thursday, February 21, 2013

Zippo Lighter

The familiar clang and zip
followed by the smell of lighter fluid and flint

then the warm glow of a flame
to light a cigarette, a pipe, or campfire

Zippo lighters were like the men in those days
strong, reliable, and true,

a calling card for advertising
identifying the brand with the man

took him through World War II
became a canvas for doodling in Vietnam

a handy mirror for jungle living
or to store salt from tropical sweating

a trustworthy signal on a dark night
or to light the page for a letter home

eventually it disappeared as smokers
quit, but for many born after the war

the Zippo is a trademark in our memory
of a product that worked every time. 

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