It’s not the eyesight that worsens
or your ears playing their own music.
The ears he liked to joke about.
Nor the arthritis and your hands trembling,
the hold of a cup an act of challenge.
He liked his coffee black, no sugar.
It’s the smell that’s most annoying.
The way it sticks and never quits you
like a raised hand.
You learn what cardiology smells like
along with disinfectant and disillusion.
What churches really smell like
after the candles are out and
you’re left crying in the back pews.
What home smells like since
he hasn’t been talking over you
for over a year.
The scent of shampoo and chocolate
following children’s little heads.
Your daughter still having fertility problems.
The way a hug lingers on your skin,
the best smell of all you’re afraid