I hold you close, nose against your baby hair
and inhale, where the smell of pumpkin
and cinnamon greet me.
you exhale softly, your breath of
strawberries, fresh from the
one day you’ll smell of the mud
and rain water and forest
you were playing in,
of chocolate cake batter, of grass stains
on shorts and sunscreen,
of sticky peach jam,
of ocean sea salt, of the
stink and tang of sweat, of teenage
socks, of pizza sauce and farts,
of your first cologne, or maybe
essential oils, of laundry
still warm from the dryer,
of campfire smoke, and pine needles.
for now, I will savor the smeared
pumpkin in your hair, your sticky
toddler fingers, studded
with strawberry seeds.