What Will You Say? – by Andrew Shaughnessy

⸙To one who cannot smell, how would you describe the fragrance

of a sprig of lavender. Sweet? Floral? Woodsy? Minty? Would that bely

its bitterness? Shouldn’t we reserve minty to the world of taste, where

we fawn over joys like melted butter, maple syrup, sticky toffee pudding,

roasted coffee—and its wafting aroma? How would you describe these

or the wafting of coffee aroma to one who cannot see—or the birthing

of a Spring fawn, a hummingbird hovering among drops of morning dew,

the rapturous laughter of a child’s first step, the warmth of a setting sun?

Should warmth be a word reserved to the world of touch? Laughter

and joy, reserved to the world of emotion? Hope, reserved for those

who have (not) lost their way? And what of Love? Do we hold that back

in reserve? Do we hold anything back not lived in the moment?

To those whose hearts are emptied, to those whose eyes no longer see,

to those whose ears no longer (want to) hear, to those deadened

to the pleasure of sensual delights, how will you—how will any of us—

describe the lonely bitterness of the joyless tolling of the final bell‽♪

Andrew (Andy) Shaughnessy is a Toronto and Gravenhurst-based writer and intellectual property litigation lawyer. He is a frequent participant in the Off Topic Publishing contests, which he has won once and placed with several honourable mentions. His short story, As Night Lifts, was published by Off Topic Publishing in November 2022. He overuses parentheses and has (the love of) a dog.


4 thoughts on “What Will You Say? – by Andrew Shaughnessy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s