escapril day 15: describe a smell
As I grow older, birthdays
Begin to lose their smell –
The smell of new and familiar
Synchronised in a melody of scents.
Birthdays smell particular,
Not dissimilar to the first bout of spring
And freshly cut grass, freshly
Washed bed sheets, or freshly baked bread.
I wish I’d bottled the aroma when I could,
Extracted it into perfume
To cherish as a souvenir of youth.
I could wear it when I want to go back in time.
We lose the air of freshness, as ageing
Begins to render birthdays as a checkpoint
Not of growth and blossoming, but of
Stagnancy, or worse, deterioration.
I don’t want to relinquish my sense of youth.
The years I’ve lived may have felt long, but
In comparison to the expanse of history
Or the life of planets or stars…
These years are barely a blip.
I wonder if the aroma I remember is
One of an elapsed childhood, or one I simply
Need to recognise again, in my eternal youth.
I wonder where did the excitement
Of growing older go? A heart quivering
Inside our chest as we wonder what comes next,
Not in uncertainty, but curiosity.
Why should growth manifest a loss of youth?
We can hold onto it if we choose.
Perhaps if we treasured more, the smells of new
The scent of birthdays would be harder to lose.
Birthdays are not a step closer to collapse,
But a reminder of all your stories to be told,
And we cannot ever live life thoroughly
With a fear of growing old.