The Proust Effect

I inhale

The summer trail

Of dust and flowers

Where we played for hours

Sniffing wild fennel studded with snails

On the way to school

Wrapped in scarves

Of damp autumn fog

We dodge the acridity of dog

Turds and the putrid decay

Of rubbish in the alley

To be greeted by the school canteen

With its pungency

Of cabbage and custard

And then home

Where Grandmother’s lily

Echoes in the valley

Of childhood

Her kitchen steeped

In a gauze of gas

Washing powder

Warm pastry and ironing

Grandfather’s coat

Fresh from the factory

Reeks of metal and biscuit

Dunked in workman’s tea

Olfactory instruments

Perform an aromatic aria

In a landscape of smells

And my nose for nostalgia


© Kim M. Russell, 2016

The Proust Effect

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