Sunday, July 06, 2008

Pop's Tampa Nuggets

It was not in the best of shape as he
Retrieved it from the desk drawer
Yet when he opened the box to show me
All that he had saved – he grinned

Bands were in the Tampa Nugget box he
Held firm with both his hands
Cigar bands from dozens of cigars he
Smoked over the days and years

He handed me a new catalog of great
Items that he could receive
All he had to do was mail in some of
Those bands to Tampa Nugget

As I child, I thought how lucky it was
To be Pop and get free gifts
I even offered to start smoking them
So that I could win something

Pop patted me on the head and told me
To get on outside and play
But, I lingered long enough to get a
Good look at that catalog

I think about that old box of cigar
Bands every once in awhile
Wondering what Pop bought over the years as
It got too full to close

The real truth is - Pop was a lot like
That ol’ box of cigar bands
Wishes and dreams were right there at his finger
Tips to do with as he pleased

Just maybe that box was filled with more than
I realized way back then
Shared grins and whispers with his granddaughter
Could have kept it more than full

@2008 Scarlet Rhymes - The above and all pictures and poetry on this site cannot be copied and duplicated on the World Wide Web without the written permission of the arthor/creator at


Anonymous said...

I loved it cause I just went through some cigar boxes of my dad's. There were 3 boxes full of the bands. One box held old knives, a compass, his WWII dog tags, and some other stuff he'd collected and just tossed inside. He's been dead for a number of years, but finding these boxes brought him back for awhile. Thanks for the poem.

Scarlet said...

Thanks for leaving your comment. I'm glad to hear that others can relate to the cigar bands. In past generations, they meant a great deal. Unfortunately, they have gone the way of Green stamps. But, yes, we do have the memories of the great people who saved them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this one Scarlet! My mother had a "red box" that she used to save things like "report cards" and a few letters and even some "cash" for emergencies. I still have that "red box" and treasure the memories of her it brings back.

Bill (oneputt)

Scarlet said...

Thanks for the comment, Bill!
I am always happy when one of my poems can bring back special memories for the reader.
It's wonderful that you still have your mother's "red box" too!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this brings back so much. I don't normally comment on anything online, but oh my... My grandpa's signature cigar was Tampa Nuggets (and sometimes Dutch Masters). He let me recycle all his cigar boxes into storage for crayons. Eventually he died when I was 9. He rarely spoke, so I can't remember his voice, but I do remember the smell of cigars always in my grandparent's home. I am 20 now and Tampa Nuggets are the only way I can remember him anymore. Thanks for the poem; it really makes my heart flutter!!

Scarlet said...

Nothing makes a poet's day more than to hear that someone found a memory in what was written. I appreciate your comment so much. And, I'm happy to know that Tampa Nugget cigars bring thoughts of your grandpa back to you!