Bicycles and Aftershave

every time it’s the same




up comes the pickup

taking up the driveway

then he steps out

short gray hair

gelled and spiked

looking like a grayed


within his first few steps

it hits you –

the strong smell of

cheap aftershave

enough to choke you

hanging in the air

so heavy that you

don’t just smell it

you can taste it

it’ll hang there for

hours after he’s gone


it always does


he and the old man

will talk about bicycles

or trailers or hand carts

then a deal will be struck

he’ll drop off a couple

(they’ll sell fast enough

sitting in the front yard)

then he’ll be gone


the aftershave

will be here for a while


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About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on December 21, 2015, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. Love the vivid imagery. I could almost taste that disgusting aftershave.

  2. Exactly. I can smell/taste it too

  3. Most definitely can smell it too, lol! I enjoyed it the poem, thank you!

  4. I know how that feels, smells and tastes. Being asthmatic I’m more sensitive to strong, cloying smells than some. I much prefer the smell of sautéed garlic when my wife is doing her magic in the kitchen…….

  5. Oh I know guys like that. Great post!

  6. Powerful salesman…that ‘aftershave’…..;) Well written John.

  7. Haha! The grayed porcupine made me laugh. 🙂

  8. Nice! Felt and smelt it 🙂

  9. Great imagery. I can taste the cheap cologne too!

  10. Powerful images. Job well done. Good post.

  11. This is good, I felt I could smell and taste it too…

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