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Bacon - Steph Scott

For the carnivore,

the smell of cooked bacon is a stimulant.

It activates the salivary glands

and awakens the stomach.

Serotonin fills the brain

as the person awaits the sweet ecstasy

of crispy meat

a hint of char

and delicious warm grease.

This is true for me as well.

But it’s not the joy of eating bacon

that awakens my senses.

It’s the memories.

The smell of bacon is the smell of my grandmother’s house.

It’s breakfast on Saturday morning

with short glasses of orange juice

and buttery pancakes slathered in syrup.

It’s lying on the couch watching cartoons

and Dick Van Dyke

and Bewitched.

It’s creaky hand-me-down bicycles

the clang of the bicycle hoop

and the plop of chestnuts

dropped down the old metal tube

by the hedge in the backyard.

It’s sitting on the back porch

On sweltering summer nights

turning the crank on the ice cream machine

while Grandpa adds more salt

It’s a dusty workshop

a whirring sewing machine

and piano duets in the basement studio.

Bacon is enveloping hugs

and booming soprano laughs

the Game of Life on avocado carpets.

It’s the Mariners on TV

and roast beef on Sundays

and classical music on the record player.

Bacon is skinned knees

and chlorine

and thick green grass with sprinklers that go

chick chick chick whirrrr every morning.

It’s seed for birds

and bread for ducks

and worms on a hook.

It’s Folgers crystals

and tinkling spoons

and sugar cereals

and fresh-baked cookies

It’s crossword puzzles

and drives to the lake

and noon-time naps.

It’s sanctuary.

The place I always felt loved

and wanted

and safe.

Where I was free to be a child.


Steph Scott spent over a decade teaching teenagers how to write, and now she writes for them. With an MFA in Writing Young Adult Fiction, she believes all stories should have an element of hope, no matter how dark. As a queer author, Steph writes stories that champion the emotionally bruised kids and those navigating or questioning their identities. When she’s not writing, she’s searching for the perfect maple bar, and exploring the woods in flannel shirts and sensible shoes. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her spouse, their teenager, and two dogs too big for their house.


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