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Summer/Fall 2018

Smell

 

by Trent Busch

 

Sometimes the smell of yesterday’s
sawdust in the shop
is enough to make the day start
slowly, remembering

a barn loft half-filled with hay my
grandparents traded
for town while my back was turned
away at college,

or the cleaning rod whittled from basswood
that the store porch
loafer made for my first shotgun
when I was twelve.

Yet, mostly, days start forward now,
just after dew
has lost its favor, sun scything
toward the south,

when sense balks, to say, Yes, but where’s
that farm now, its
fields grown to trees both wide and tall
for lumber?

or, The last shotgun you fired was
at a rattlesnake
that you missed by a foot in your
neighbor’s yard.

All right, I usually say, throwing
open the door,
you’re not my father, brushing hay from
my neck, dumping

shells from my pockets, wondering
if smell is only
a trick from the past, fooling us with what
we thought we’d be.

 

[Check out Trent Busch’s back porch wisdom]