Weekly Write: “Memory By Scent” by Betsy Littrell

Memory By Scent

Betsy Littrell

Sitting under a pine tree
in the grass, my son plays
with a plastic sphere, trying to move
a tiny steel ball through
a maze, his tongue out
as he concentrates. A daughter
pushes her mother
in a wheelchair next to
the park, and they both
smile at us, the same
smile, from the same
face, one with deeper
wrinkles and wiser
eyes. I wonder if the mother
is from the memory care center
across the street and if a twilight
walk is their evening routine.
Their smiles tell me the story
of why the nursing home
was built next to a place
filled with the cracks
of baseball bats and children’s
shrieks. I start
to count my son’s
eyelashes, and I name
all five freckles on the right
side of his face. And the lone pine
suddenly smells like an entire forest.


Betsy Littrell is a whimsical soccer mom to four boys, working on her MFA in creative writing at San Diego State University. Her recent or forthcoming publications include Little Patuxent Review, Adanna, San Diego Poetry Annual, The Road Not Taken, Prometheus Dreaming and Literary Mama among others. In addition, she volunteers with Poetic Youth, teaching poetry to underserved elementary students.





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