Today for dVerse Poetics, Grace invites us to “drizzle your poems with fragrances.” I find this my most favorite sense to slip into both prose and poetry because it so easily accesses memories. I took you back to my childhood in the late 40’s and 50’s and just a few sensory related memories. I grew up in my earliest years in the foothills of L.A, in the home of my grandparents until my widowed mother remarried when I was seven. That is the setting for this poem.
Making Scents of Memories
Mama melts blue cubes
in cold, then boiling water.
Clean, fresh smells erupt,
linger on my Sunday dress,
on starched crinoline petticoats.
I hide in branches of my pepper tree,
crinkle its leaves,
breathe in its pungent aroma,
Mama smells like roses—
like gardenia and cigarettes.
Incense—inhale the Sacred.
wisps snake around blessed candles
in dark, consecrated vaults.
Fear—our hills are aflame–
acrid smoke from eucalyptus torches
and burning brush.
Grandpa carries me off the mountain
to Aunt Mary’s.
When my widowed Mama remarries,
I weep goodbyes.
Lilies of the valley wave
Please join us and invite your poet friends.