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  • Emily Ellet

The Vanilla Pines

The trunk of a vanilla pine tree

Can you smell the vanilla pines? she asked

No, I replied, rushing to set up her wedding

(Mine wouldn't be until the winter

When you can't smell anything)

Could I not smell them? I wondered

Or did I not have enough experience

To know what other pines smelled like

The mountain of adolescence

Looked north and south

And east

Whence I came

But longed to escape

The chains of my childhood 

Snaking across and around

My feet

Rooted to the ground

That rapidly eroding dirt

Shaky under my feet

East I went

To winter

And no pines at all

Jacob or Job

I knew not.


I was Ruth

and now 

with Naomi on speed dial

i'm back home

but nowhere i've ever lived before

the mountain here looks 

east and north

but west

up to layers on layers of mountains

and gentle golden sunsets




and I can smell the vanilla

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