Wednesday, December 1, 2010


When I recall my father
One thing that I remember best
Is the way he smelled,
For like all of us his presence had an odor—
A song of odors, really—
That was uniquely his.

My father's smell was that
Of an honest, hard-working life
(Though one that had its pleasures).
He often smelled of body sweat
When he had been working
(And he worked a lot)

And of machinery oils and grease
And metal dust, but especially
Of woods like oak and elm
And even mahogany,
For all his life he loved to handle these,
Making beautiful and useful things.

And when he relaxed
He smelled of pipe tobacco
For a wreath of smoke
Often circled his head
Like St. Nicholas in the story
(And the likeness was apt).

For all these odors
I have fond feelings
That will last until I die.
The smell of every one of them
Brings my loving father back to me
For a moment.
©2002 John I. Blair

Click on John I. Blair for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

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