I Like the Smell of Urine

I like the smell of urine,

It wasn’t always the case.

When dad first got ill,

He peed all over the home,

Riding the saddle of dementia,

He didn’t even seem to care.

As if a cat marking his territory,

And existence.


Over time, after many clean ups,

My initial gag reflex, moved on.

Replaced by a numbing; breath holding cleaning exercise;

Reaching for the Febreze,

I left the bathroom.

Gasping for air,

but not as nauseous as before.

Almost acceptable.


Then, the news came he was dying,

I spent the hours listening to his shallow breath,

Encouraging and then interrupting the long pauses,

Which seemed to indicate a nearby exit,

With a kind stroke of a skinny arm,

And a deep inhale followed once more.

Mimicking my sign of relief and disappointment simultaneously.

Of which I am confused.


As the hours went on,

Each entry of the room, the smell greeted me.

Now, an old friend,

Showing me signs of life,

And of kidneys functioning,

If barely.

Dad was still with us,

I inhaled deeply. Reassured for a while.


After he passed,

Quietly and in peace it seemed,

I knew it was over.

There would be no more smell of this in my life.

At least not this special one,

I had come to recall,

Not now repugnant,

But as if a perfume from a spring garden,

Which my father loved so well.

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