Frames of Scent

Sticky sweet smell of maple syrup in morning
Mingle with muffled talk over oily weak coffee
or early evening spicy scents of soupy chili before
whip cream drowned slices of pumpkin or apple pie
hang about the house like pictures of meals framing
past, present and future images of grandma’s kitchen.
Even hanging in the basement amidst rasps, wrenches
Shiny Saws, short screwdrivers and handle taped hammers,
a whole platoon of old tools–my grandpa’s faithful troops—
barracked here on his winter workshop sanctuary bench.
Nearby two cots wait for my brother and myself –
Weighed down with centuries old wool blankets
their mothball attic scent never quite removed
despite numerous washings and outside line drying
waiting to scratch skin on chin as we lay awake
on lumpy musty neglected egg-create foam mattresses.
Distracted and scared by odd shadows cast by a beer sign
– a strange nightlight and source of fascination –
in an alien basement, with it’s queer clicks and creaks
and dark dangerous places we were told never
to explore and thus made all the more mysterious.


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