What’s that smell?
Damp basements, mold,
smoke from campfires and grills
as those who lost everything
make do the best they can.
They camp in tents,
wear boots all day,
watch for snakes,
tear down beloved homes,
sweat and cry and curse and hug
and clean mud, clean mud, clean mud.
It’s the smell of daily life
in the flooded communities of southeastern West Virginia,
the smell of defiance and stubbornness.
It’s the smell of courage,
the smell of hope
rising from the wreckage of their lives.
(Inspired by a writing prompt at First50.)