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Afternoons



I like the smell of afternoons. 

It's not like a lady's sweet perfume. 

It's not like the lavender in bloom. 

It's the smell of something other. 

It's the smell of school and sweat and grass. 

It's the smell of carpool lines and gas. 

It's the smell of childhood as I watch it pass-

this time, I'm the mother. 

It's the smell of warm cheeks after naps;

the smell of baseball gloves and caps. 

It's the way sibling chapters overlap. 

I'd pause if I had my druthers. 

It's the scent of snacks and juice and hugs,

of half-caff coffee in my mug, 

of a playful puppy as he gives a tug- 

he's so glad to be a brother!

Afternoons have a special place. 

You see, children need a special space

to dance and laugh and play and race

and one thing or another. 

So I like the smell of afternoons, 

Even if November is not like June, 

These sweet hours hum their own tune

And call childlikes to discover...

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