Scratch ‘n’ sniff yellow
aroma of angel food and jelly roll
when you wake up
Hurry down to claim bowl and beaters
dripping with batter to lick.
Scratch ‘n’ sniff white
perfume of just-washed frozen
diapers softening beside the heater.
Laundry makes Mom tired. “Read!” you call
as she dozes off again, mid-story at nap time.
Scratch ‘n’ sniff green
storm-scrubbed morning air.
All night you lay watchful, sprawled on pull-out
living-room couches with brothers and sisters
and pinched eyes shut against
lightning that took flash after flash
picture through the window
to thunder’s applause.
Scratch ‘n’ sniff charcoal
diesel fumes, body odor
of the pulsing Massey 55.
You’re standing beside it asking
“Daddy, what do you mean, ‘We’ll see’?”
© 2003 by Violet Nesdoly
This poem was first published at Utmost Christian Writers, where it tied with another poem for first place in the 2003 Utmost “Love to a Child” contest (“Your poem must be about ‘a child’s view of love’”).