To Live By Mistakes and Perfumes – a poem by Anne Higgins

To Live By Mistakes and Perfumes


Sound of July crickets blends with
Trumpet, echo chamber,
Electric guitar, soft cymbals, clarinets,
harmony of the Fortunes singing
“Now just like you I sit and wonder why
You’ve got your troubles, I’ve got mine.
And it don’t seem so long ago….
That we were walking and we were talking
The way that lovers do…”
Parked in your father’s enormous Cadillac
In the moonlight
By the children’s playground on Nields Street.
Why did we love that song?

Today I notice that
My ghost smells like Shalimar,
honey and cinnamon, with a hint of gardenia,
a shade of wisteria,
disturbing the cold March air,
knife of aroma
where the spring peepers croak.


Anne Higgins teaches English at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg Maryland,  USA. She is a member of the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul.  She has had about 100 poems published in  a variety of small magazines. Five full-length books and three chapbooks of her poetry have been published: At the Year’s Elbow, Mellen Poetry Press  2000; Scattered Showers in a Clear Sky,  Plain View Press 2007; chapbooks: Pick It Up and Read, Finishing Line Press 2008, How the Hand Behaves, Finishing Line Press 2009, Digging for God,  Wipf and Stock 2010,  Vexed Questions, Aldrich Press 2013, Reconnaissance, Texture Press 2014, and Life List, Finishing Line Press 2016. Her poems have been featured several times on The Writer’s Almanac.

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