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Some days I feel my world
can be distilled into scents
current or caught in memory.

Geraniums and my husband's
pipe smoke clash, as one
reminds me of my grandmother's
porch in Brooklyn, New York

while the other still lingers
in certain parts of our house
or on the last winter coat
he wore in February, corduroy.

For me to smell a garden
without trying comes from years
of hands in the dirt,
clay pots and the crushing of
herbs, the cupping of wild sweet pea,

impossibly intertwined with
honeysuckle, and blooming milkweed
cutting the grass, the mower scatters
tansy, lemon balm and mint

Years ago we had a hedge of white
wild roses, planted in his first marriage,
that had more thorns than flowers
yet I can still smell the sweetness.

Brevity Quest 2016 129

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