After a hard week of being buffeted by the winds of disease, seeing  people desparately struggling to find a new equilibrium when sudden ilness throws the gyroscope of their lives off kilter, I needed to reconnect with a happier place than those of the hospital corridors. The following poem brought me to such a spot; I hope it will do the same for you.


To My Daughter


What is this smell?

Some oil, some ketone, some

other chemical or combination of these

leaching from your skin

and breath and hair

up to my nose.

It smells like the press

of your tiny forehead

against my chest

feels, or the tickle of

your fine hair, brushing

up to my chin.

These feels and smells

they trigger love, they rest

my restlessness

subdue my exhaustion

goad me to hold you

long after you fall back to sleep.

Transmitted by my shhhhhs,

my whispered lullabies,

my rocking heartbeat pressing close

to yours, double-timed,

these will sleep, deep in your

infant memory, insensate,

until your daughter

wakes you up late to

cry and fuss, until

your rocked embrace imparts

this smell and feel and sound

of love to her.


Clayton J. Baker

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15 Responses to Meaning

  1. Danilee says:

    It\’s been a long time since I stopped by. How are you lately? Thanks so much for your comment. Right now is crazy- you have NO idea. It\’s nice to hear a word of encouragment every now and then!

  2. Marie says:

    We are celebrating Golden Week this week in Japan.  A wonderful week of holidays strung together so I have a lot of time to visit my dear blogging friends like you and catch up on what I have missed. Have a nice weekend.
    Hugs, Marie

  3. Cheryl says:

    Great poem…Now I do the same with granddaughters and hop to do so with great grands….

  4. Fenix says:

    Hello Jorge;
    It\’s marvelous to smell  the first time to our children, Immediately we know the smell of our baby and we differentiate it of the others. The smell of our baby remains forever in our heart.
    Hope your have a great weekend 

  5. Gelert says:

    That\’s lovely Jorge, yes. What grounds me when I\’m feeling lost is the memory of the only love that comes without a price – that of your parents. Thanks for thinking of me, and for visiting, and thanks for your site, its always a restful place.

  6. Stephen Craig says:

    Jorge,  When one seeks peace in poetry, one finds peace.  Though fine art is my life work, it is also a sanctuary where I distill the essence as I create.
    As ever be well.  Stephen Craig Rowe

  7. Marge says:

    Oh, the memories, Jorge…
    I raised three sons, seems like a lifetime ago, and now my youngest–my baby–is a father and his little girl is wonderful. I imagine him thinking these things, watching little Alex grow.
    Sometimes I think the same things, reflecting upon the boys\’ growing-up years. That time flew by so fast…
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful entry and the poem; so appropriate as Mothers Day nears.

  8. Vonnie says:

    Awww… very nice poem. It reminded me of this evening, when I sat on the edge of my 12 year old\’s bed, and leaned in with a tender kiss. Even at 12, there is something about the smell of our baby\’s hair that never washes away, no matter how they become. Only now they look up at you and say "mom… why are you smelling my hair?". *sigh*  LoL  I hope you\’re well sweetie. (((big squishy hugs))). Yvonne. x

  9. Lisa says:

    Jorge, we don\’t have children, yet, and yet oddly enough, this is exactly what I envision when the blessed day finally comes.  It\’s no small wonder that it brought you out of a place of "hospital corridors."  Hope you have a focused, blessed week.

  10. Betty says:

    Hi Jorge,
    Thank you for the lovely poem.  The poem evokes memories of my only daughter, Christy.  She still owns my heart.  I spent the last week with my step daughter and her two daughters, ages three and five and watching her with her girls was a gift.
    Hope you are well.

  11. Charlotte says:

    What a beautiful poem!  I never know what I shall find when coming here, but I am always delighted or enhanced.  hugs, lottiemae

  12. PJ says:

    Good Afternoon Jorge,
    What a lovely poem, indeed. You are a most wonderful individual. I sincerely hope that your work schedule improves. I can only "imagine" the emotions that a physician must endure. May you have a most wonderful week, my friend.
    Until next time..Keep Smiling.

  13. Joe says:

    Hey J,
    Thanks for the poem.  Called in sick today.  Didn\’t feel as bad as I felt contagious.  But as the day wears on & my energy ebbs & I realize I couldn\’t have made it through the day & will only have passed the malady on to others.  It\’s been making the rounds at work.
    But getting back to the poem.  I think that a poet is challenged to express love without the aid of the senses.  They rely on you to interpret & "visualize" the "feelings" without the input of all the senses. Even the canvas artist has an advantage, as they produce the visual.  Both usually die impoverished.  Tragic considered the contributions.
    — Joe

  14. Bittersweet on-the-hill. says:

    A lovely poem.  After reading it,I needed to pause a moment and just smile. Puts a nice glow to the day.  Bittersweet

  15. Jungle Mama says:

    Wonderful poem.  I just sent a meme out in response to an email from a friend and relative.  In response to my favorite smell I had put down "my daughters head".  It really smells so sweet.

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