The scent of Christmas

by Rebecca Clifford, Caledonia

Grandma smelled of cinnamon.
She had a great shelf of a bosom just right for the cuddling of grandchildren.
Her skin imbued with the scent of Christmas,
she would ice cookies the way old world masters spatula’d oils on canvas.

Steeped in this invisible cloud of fragrance,
she would whisper me to sleep with stories of a childhood in Ottawa or Ireland,
a million years
a million miles away.

With her camel humps bound in an iron brassiere of modesty,
she inspired me, the newest magi,
to bring cinnamon to the kitchen crèche,
where my mother baked trays of baby Jesuses as pigs in blankets.

Author’s note: I concocted this poem from my memories of my grandmother who came to stay for the holidays when I was young.