Ode to an Odor

I thought mine eyes would never see
a stench so rank it appeared to me

like a green haze, thick as pea soup,
it choked my lungs, this foul goop.

Whence it came, I could not tell,
but it singed my cilia–
What IS this smell?!

A farmer’s field drenched in manure?
A tire factory set ablaze?

Did someone take a bath in vats of vinegar?
Or shower with eau de skunk spray?

Was it sweat, was it poop?
A combination of the two?

I had to find The Thing that reeked–
–what else was I to do?

So as my nose sniffed out the culprit
and through the house I went,

the funk was growing stronger now,
an ungodly B.O. scent.

Soon I reached my son’s room,
now gagging and gasping for air,

and found him sprawled upon his bed,
his feet exposed and bare.

That was when I suddenly knew
and realized with stark despair,

he’d simply taken off his sneaks–

–an odor beyond compare.

Happy 10th birthday, Baby Boo! I love you! (Even with your stinky feet.)Β 

My son at the age of three, during his pre-swamp feet days…

107 thoughts on “Ode to an Odor

    1. It is a serious smell. The worst odor I’ve ever been exposed to in my life. (and I had to throw in one term I learned from my anatomy class to trick myself into thinking this poem was helping me learn medical terms.)

    1. Fragrant? only you could put a positive spin on this, Julesy-Drawers.

      yesterday’s party? Well. Let’s just say they should use the tagline:
      Jokers: Where A Kid Can Be A Kid and Parents’ Souls Go To Die (I stole that from a friend)

  1. An the stench of boy, know it well. We survived swamp feet/rank football uniforms & such only b.c we could open windows and … run outside!

    Happy birthday to your big by – double digits is truly a milestone!

    1. And The Smell seems to be getting more powerful by the day, MJ. I picked him up at school, halfway through the drive I nearly drove off the road because he took his shoes off in the car. Rolling down the windows does nothing. It is unreal. This smell is its own entity.

      1. Rolling down the windows is only one-third of the solution. You also need to toss the shoes and have him stick his feet out the window for the rest of the drive.

  2. I know that smell. I was clipping my son’s toenails after his shower one night and nearly dying. After a shower and they smelled so bad? We had a long talk about showering but I don’t think I convinced him. I hope your son has an amazing birthday!

    1. Getting my son to take a shower is almost as easy as getting him to agree to eating any green vegetable. Now he’s taking a shower much more often. And guess what? Still has stinky feet. His feet stink the second he steps out of the shower. I cringe when I imagine his teen years.

    1. The good thing about my son is he has the same exact sense of humor I do. But I figure if I have to be exposed to his feet, he can endure a little blog embarrassment.
      The cilia thing was perfect for this poem. Big exam this week and I’ll know exactly what that term means.

  3. Okay, I WAS gonna send my WW1 gas mask to my buddy in Afghanistan, to deal with the crap in the air (literally), but it’s OBVIOUS you need it more. And like I said to him – a little mustard gas has GOT to be better than the agony of da feet! πŸ˜‰

    1. It really is amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever smelled anything worse and I’ve been dealing with poopy diapers for about 10 years. The smell of his feet, literally overcomes you, you can’t breathe, you can talk…your eyes water. We are currently on the hunt for some odor-eaters for his shoes but I think they’ll just dissolve on contact.

  4. Kudos for making smelly feet poetic! I hope he has a wonderful birthday!
    I love your writing, so I hope you won’t mind me pointing out that ‘whence’ already means ‘from where’!

  5. I’ve smelled that smell around my house too… I have to say though, there’s not a stench in the world that rivals when they spray the fields with liquid pig manure. Oh my freakin’ god, you can’t even go out of the house! Happy B-day to the boy with the smelly feet though! πŸ™‚

    1. Steve, I hear you as I know a bit about manure. (I’m sorry, that line is making me crack up)

      I live in the middle of two giant farms and our yard meets up with a cow pasture. Still, it doesn’t compare to my son’s feet. I think he should be in the Guinness Book of World Records.

  6. Nice poem. Did not know you wrote poems! When I was a kid, I loved unleashing smells from dirty socks and shoes upon my family. It’s such an important part of growing up with the Y chromosome!

    1. Thanks, Bharat. I don’t write poems. This is probably the third or fourth I’ve ever written in my life. I basically avoid poems like I avoid my son’s swamp feet.
      And it is a Y chromosome thing, so true. I had to deal with five pairs of those stinky feet growing up (my brothers).

  7. Ha! Yes. We have one those too. Same age, same gender. Lovely poem, Dar. I can actually smell the description. No wait…I think those are John’s shoes are under me…

    PS – Happy day-of-birth celebration! Savor each one.

    1. Oh, so you know of The Stink that I speak of…that of which I wrote about above. Oh, hell. I can’t even form complete sentences now. I am in the middle of medical terminology hell, Shannon. Your email and video came at the right time to give me a big release of laughter. Then I cried and sobbed into my textbook.

      This bday was awesome, really. We had a blast yesterday and he was happy so that’s all that matters to this mama. Still can’t believe he’ll be a TEEN in three years. Good lord help me.

  8. Oh, my older son’s feet smelled so bad…all the time…no matter what we did.

    I love this poem, and you know I know a grand poem when I see one.

    Happy birthday to your boy.

    1. Katy, I am beginning to think he might have an issue with this odor. He takes showers. I’ve even scrubbed his feet clean for him once! What is it about boys?
      And thank you for that compliment. I thought of you while I wrote it. Because you’re so good at writing poems, not that you have ungodly smelly feet. I swear.

  9. Snoring Dog Studio

    Time to toss those sneakers! Wow. Kind of pungent for a little kid – I didn’t know that was possible. Boys – what a handful? Can you smell DeFeat? Yuk yuk.

  10. winsomebella

    I like your fair ode to the foul. My friends and I still talk about the stench that comes with boys in puberty. I had two who played football and it was nasty. I heard recently that the house that we had lived in at that time has burned down. Perhaps the odor was still too much πŸ™‚

  11. He already has the stink-o-rama going at 10? I thought that didn’t happen for another couple of years. I’m so sorry for your loss (of sweet-smelledness). Happy double digits to your baby!

    (hey, you’ve got the preggo Jennifer Aniston ad, too!)

    1. I thought I had at least two more years of fresh/clean scent from the boy. But no. He’s gotta be ahead of everything in life, why not stinky feet?
      I do have the preggo Jennifer ad and I’m still wondering why not the three column ads that some other people have? they don’t like me? is that it??

  12. Brilliant poem. I had no idea that you’d lead us to your birthday boy’s feet!
    I have a feeling that your son won’t allow you to speak at his wedding because he’ll know you’re going to embarrass him with the stinky feet poem, or something worse that you still have to come up with.

  13. Hey Darla! I’m only here because I like to do 100th comment posts. I reserve the right to be weird. The number 99 was just calling for me. ONE HUNDRED. There. I feel better. πŸ™‚

    1. Haha! I can’t thank you enough. Y’know, that brings up a really great idea. Why don’t you add another comment to my Momglish post? It’s currently at 99. While you’re at it, just go through every single post on here and make them all 100! That would make me feel sooooo much better.

      1. Oh, how fun that was! I wish I had more time to blow. Drat. I DID manage to find some goodies. Even found my way to your very first post!! CuhRAZY going back that far (it wouldn’t let me comment on the widgets – no fair). Hope you’re having a lovely weekend.

          1. Shannon

            Yeah, the not being able to comment was making me mad. I was afraid that if I commented the third time, it might come out as sounding angry, and then with my luck, all THREE comments would just suddenly appear. I thought better of it…

            It was pretty awesome. So…what the heck IS a widget anyway? My question remains unanswered.

            PS – by the way, I am in LOVE with my widgets. It’s one of the things that keeps me from changing my current theme. I think it’s stuck with me. πŸ™‚

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