I am not so old that childhood memories return

                of people and places that time has hidden

                but now reveals with a sleight of hand.

                Lost, long gone and suddenly back again

                with piercing clarity - people, places, smells.

                But this September I have been assailed

                by spring after a wasteland of years.


                As if the world turning on its axis has

                shifted to a degree of decades and let loose

                a syllabus of spring drenched smells -

                jasmine, wattle and a white starred tree

                that my grandmother would have known

                the name of, all mingle to be more than

                the sum of their parts, unidentifiable

                except as time and spring and

                the coming heat of summer.


                I’m halter-necked dressed and sniffing the air.

                It’s lighter earlier now before we thought

                of daylight saving. How do you save such a

                thing as light? But only rejoice as the sun slowly

                gives us more time each day. Wattle the sun in

                miniature, some years blazing, some years pale

                and still the smell lingers, redolent of yellow.


                Spring is not far away and the boy you like

                is smiling as you walk past the garage

                where he works. And a decade before jasmine

                flowers on the back fence as you run away

                from your mother’s voice - Don’t be back

                late for dinner. It’s Spaghetti Bolognese.


                I remember my grandmother’s hydrangeas,

                roses and as a grandmother now I have chocolate

                cosmos, violas, salvia, geraniums, sweet pea, 

                autumn crocus. Spring is a syllabus of smells with

                summer presaging on the wind. What is in the air?

                What will time let drift towards me?



Debbie Robson is the author of Tomaree, a WW2 novel and Crossing Paths: the BookCrossing novel inspired by www.bookcrossing.com. She loves to write fiction set in the first sixty years of the last century. She also writes poetry and has performed her poems in Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Newcastle.