Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
Mothering by Scent

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Bring me the bedding that held his sleep
and blind I'd know it as his.
Pungent smell with an acrid edge,
like delicious food just starting to turn.
Since infancy, his skin was a sponge--
milk-sweet meant he'd eaten fruit,
face powder scent, he'd been in his Grandma's arms.
Now cold cheeks smelling of sun,
a game of chase in the school yard.
And fever--
it's there in the doorway,
sourdough bread and the oven on all afternoon.
He scolded me once at eighteen months,
"I am not a flower!"
First metaphor, I'd write in his baby book
after just one more breath of my boy.


Ona Gritz is the author of two children’s books, two collections of poetry, and a memoir. Her essays have appeared in numerous anthologies and journals including The Utne Reader, MORE magazine, the Bellingham Review, and, most recently, The Truth of Memoir: How to Write about Yourself and Others with Honesty, Emotion, and Integrity by Kerry Cohen. Ona lives in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. Her son Ethan is a college freshman.


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