Breadwinner by Nancy K. Dobson


Our last married winter I unwrap the good soaps,
Lemongrass, Cedarwood, and finally, Mint.
Inhaling the essence of each bar, I reimagine an aromatic feast
at our secondhand dinner table,
flash on a bouquet from a sunny mountain hike,
the perfume of a long flight home, me asleep on your shoulder,
or the tang of you in the doorway
after cleaning the gutters under lightning
in a raincoat and battered shoes.
Pale images that have dissipated
like a dried sachet in a dresser drawer.
I thumb through the day’s mail,
stack the bills under the first picture
I hung in our entry way,
a black and white line drawing of a heart
divided into tidy spaces and segments.
I study that geometric illusion and wonder
what I will do when I reach the center
of my own construction
and discover your scent has long since vanished.


Nancy K. Dobson’s writing, both fiction and poetry, has been published in a variety of publications including Madcap Review, Quince, Variety Pack, and more, and is forthcoming in Blue Moon Literary & Art Review. Her poetry has won a few prizes. A former teacher, she’s on Twitter @nancy_dobson.

Leave a Reply