My baby smells me coming.
His caregivers say he knows I’m on my way
tells them his mama will be here soon.
They say, no no, that’s the scent of fresh cut
grass, the rain-heavy clouds,
No, he says.
My mama is coming.
I can smell her.
A child can pick out his mother by scent
the way a baby first roots for the nipple.
I know this to be true.
My mother, a wisp of lilac
sun warmed cotton,
Ralph Lauren perfume.
To my son
I am the air before the rain,
the electric rattle of anticipation,
miraculous & mundane.
Shannon Curtin is a 2014 Pushcart Prize nominee and the author of two collections of poetry, Motherland (Anchor and Plume Press), and File Cabinet Heart (ELJ Publications). Her writing has been featured in a variety of literary magazines including Mothers Always Write, The Muddy River Review, The Mom Egg Review, and The Elephant Journal. She holds an MBA, competitive shooting records, and her liquor. You can find her at www.ablogofherown.wordpress.com.