'Somewhere near where you are sitting is something with a specific smell that will conjure a memory rich with images. Take a moment to find any such object and breathe the scent of it, deeply. It may be as simple as a strand of your hair, a ketchup bottle from the refrigerator, a potholder or a bottle of lotion.
Add to your breath the simple phrase, “I remember” and breathe the scent in again. “I remember.” Free write from “I remember” for at least five minutes, repeating the prompt “I remember” if your writing slows.
Use the seeds from your free writing to write today’s poem.'
The cups of coffee sit between us,
Smell sharp and bitter,
Tangible in the air
Like the moment hanging here,
In this gap linking you and I.
This is our first date,
Getting to know each other,
Smiling tentatively over coffee
In this generic coffee shop,
In this city of thousands,
Narrowed to this one place,
This one moment,
And two people,
Later, I remember the smell,
Coffee - dark, bitter and strong.
How our eyes met over raised cup rims,
A smile and a lingering gaze.
And in our kitchen,
The smell of coffee takes me back,
While the smile never changes.