The Sweet Smells of Spring
naked and broke,
jimmy walked a narrow bridge
stretched across the etowah.
honeysuckle tugged at his nose.
the whore his daddy bought him
for his 14th smelled of honeysuckle.
he preferred lilac.
sister benson, the preacher’s wife,
smelled like lilacs.
she used to give him biscuits
for mowing her lawn.
the biscuits were sweet –
no need for butter or syrup.
jimmy never cared much for the bible,
and church made him itch,
but he liked sister benson,
and she seemed to like him too,
which is why jimmy didn’t understand
neither those from earlier in the day
nor those rattling from the laundry bag
now floating downriver.
he’s never understood the screams…
and tried to make sense of it all
as he sniffed the flower on his hands
and gathered his clothes from the trees.
return to index