Paeans - and Aches

over the years

Thursday, April 13, 2017

That smell

That smell (that smell)
I remember it well
Or to be more precise
That smell (so nice)
Carries with it
Stories that I didn't know
Were still safe and well

If I could bottle that smell
Just to keep, not to sell
I'd keep it to help me remember
When my brain hits December
When the rest of my senses
Are gone to hell
That smell ( that smell)
Will bring you back to me.

The smell of you, when we first met
It was raindrops
And a quiet perfume
You told me was your mother's
That found its way to me
Through the smell of dosas
And tea
I caught that blend today
And it all came back to me

When we snuck out of that party
Into the garden
And we kissed for the first time
The smell of mango leaves
Always brings you back
To me

The smell of the sea
Mixed with a little strand
Of drying fish
And the heady odour
Of the sweat of our bodies
If only I could save a vial of that air
To bring you back to me

And that smell of dried leaves burning
Brings back the flames
Of the anger that consumed you
That consumed us
That's a smell I wish
Wasn't so easy to find
Because, yes,
That brings you back too.

And the smell of hospital corridors
Brings back that time
Of fear, when you almost didn't make it
But then it also bought us back
And that smell
All things considered
I'd bottle it too

And now there's new odours
To breathe deep, together
To forget, as we go on

And then remember
In strange places, far away
When some stray zephyr
Some wisp of fragrance
Brings it all back
Brings you back
Brings us back.

This is a work in progress for the page, and also still evolving as a performance piece. (I invited audience collaboration, asking, between stanzas, about smells that evoked memories for them.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And a quiet perfume
You told me was your mother's
That found its way to me"

Thank you for these lines. They bring back so many memories and 13th April 2014 was when she was diagnosed with the big C Stage IV. I could do nothing except watch and weep as her condition got worse!

14/4/17 15:35  

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