I remember exactly where we were when I said to my "tour-guide"- Maggie: "I wish I could record smell like a photograph, it's my favorite sense." Everything is as I smell it. It's like a super power, until it's not and I can smell to the exact dressing that a friend or family member had eaten.
She said that hot skin was the smell of her mother. I typed the poem on the clear blue tailored day. The windows were down. I was filled with a deep contentedness of freedom. I had not been without responsibility, itinerary, or any children, significant other...since I was nineteen! So below is poem from the coastal drive up.
I wish I could record smell like a photograph.
The sea salt and sulfur
Heat has a scent, hot skin on your mother,
or a lover, or your baby boy's back.
Fresh peace lilies overtake molecular air,
they swim in your senses like a hint
then remind you they were present
when they linger after you leave.
Lobsters and shelled fish
exude a confidence of pungency.
No apologies from them or the sea.
They have passed on and they continue to be.
There's a moldy musk of maturity
in the wood shingles and the walls.
They hold decades or a century of all the secrets untold.
A scent of prestige or respect to behold.
Stones and seashells smell too; of life in water in motion.
A rhododendron climbs to the sky in a bush of green,
showing survival from winters passed,
a sensory of sight, but more the scent that lasts.
Even stores selling fudge or a sea glass gallery
can conjure tones of new crisp carpet and creamy chocolate.
The waft of glass cleaner and clarity shines to my nose
as popcorn poses competition with a fresh batch of waffle cones.
I wish I could take a picture of a smell.
Hold it for reflection to inhale
To remember the simple smell
of Maine with Maggie
on a magic day of serendipity and sisterhood.
"Shimmer with a smile. Life is hard, bloom anyway."