Perfume of the Seasons

I know a little place on the corner
That some call Nirvana, Heaven, or bliss,
And although I’ve never been there before,
I think it’d be fitting to call it Home.

The walls are lined with millions of books
That reach up to the never-ending sky,
And on the table by the crackling fire,
There stand four crystal vials of sweet perfume.

The owner is an old and kind woman
Whose smiles and crinkled eyes light up the room.
She’s warm and gentle; she’ll always be there
To welcome you as if you’re coming home.

Her dress is softer than light summer rain,
Her hair is as white as crisp winter snow,
Her skin is wrinkled like gold autumn leaves,
But her eyes glimmer green like breaths of spring.

I wander over to the vial of Fall,
And out amble the scents of November:
Pumpkin spice and roast turkey with gravy,
Chai tea, old books, and glazed candied apples.
Then all at once an image fills my mind –
My brown puppy chasing the falling leaves –
I wonder if he misses me.

Next is the fragrance of bottled Winter,
Which smells of peppermint and gingerbread.
The clean scent of Christmas trees is mixed with
Steaming hot chocolate, eggnog, and nutmeg.
I see warm woolen mittens and snowballs,
And my family opening presents –
All but what would’ve been for me.

Then comes Spring, the distilled essence of life.
Fresh grass, earth, cherry blossoms and tulips
Fill the air as warmer rains sweep the land.
Honey, chocolate, and crumbly apple pie
Drift with the spring breeze to a windowsill.
Playing in the garden on a tire swing
Are the kids that I’ll never have.

Last is Summer, the perfume of hot days.
Sea salt spray, chilled drinks, and shaved ice follow
A walk in the beach from sunset to night.
Watermelon juice runs from sticky hands.

I step away and the visions are gone,
The old woman smiles and embraces me.
It’s time for you to close your eyes, she says,
And so in peaceful bliss and quiet harmony
I do as she says –
I sleep.

By: Angela Zhao 

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