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The Smell Of New Construction

By John I. Blair

Passing new apartments
I thought of childhood days
At my fatherís side
On building sites.

My nose would tingle there
With resin scents
Of fir, pine, cedar, spruce,
The musty, burning air

Of fresh cement,
Acrid ooze on pipes,
The oddly sweet perfume
Of glazierís putty.

I was an animal,
Then as now,
A tracking hound,
And bounded room to room,

Following my nose,
Casting for clues
To chemicals and conifers
I never knew existed,

Tracing a placeís links
To earth and forest
By ephemeral aromas
Before they vanished,

Less than ghosts,
Beneath an all-consuming cloak
Of paint and paper,
Years and use.

©2011 John I. Blair


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