I can still smell soap bubbles in the scullery,
steamy clean and floating through my early
years; my grandmother’s hands red and hot,
tea-towels boiling in the biggest pot
as I turned the handle of the wringer,
reminded always to ‘Mind your finger!’
I remember sitting on the back step
while she raised the line with a wooden prop:
bath towels and sheets flapped above the trees,
vests and shirts danced in the breeze,
and I breathed in the scent of linen on the line.
Later, when the washing was dry,
I’d help collect the pegs and fold the sheets
ready for ironing. It was such a treat
to climb into a newly-made bed
and lay down my buzzing head
on a washing day scented pillow,
one that I’d seen billow,
and drift slowly
into soap bubble dreams.
Kim M. Russell, 2nd October 2018
This Tuesday we have a guest host, Gina of Singledust, who would like us to think of a smell that evokes the deepest feeling of safety, such as a certain food from childhood, coffee from our favourite café, the smell of a freshly mown lawn or the musty smell of Grandma’s closet. Gina has shared poems by Christopher Morley and Eric Cockrell to give us inspiration.
The challenge is to write poems about comfort smells that take us back to a time when we would just collapse into a safe place.