A hint of scent
carries me away
to other times and places,
some sweet, 
some bittersweet.

A co-worker's perfume
transports me back to first grade
where Mrs. Eggers smiles
and welcomes us all to our new school.

New babies carry their own mix
of spit-up formula and diaper,
that washes away with
Johnson's Baby shampoo and powder.
Whenever I hold a newborn,
I breathe deep and am transported
to bath time smiles with my babies,
blowing bubbles on their bellies.

My father prided himself
on being a sharp dressed man
when occasion required;
suits and ties and 
English Leather cologne
on clean shaven cheeks.
I can still see him with his face lathered
and his double-edged razor 
dragging slow strokes up his neck and cheeks,
then swishing the soapy razor in the sink.
He always said he felt good after a fresh shave.

You won't find English Leather anymore;
it has gone the way of the Dodo and Woolly Mammoth.
I wish I had saved one of his empty bottles.
Then whenever I needed him most
I could breathe deep 
and feel him standing beside me.

~Elise Skidmore ©2022

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