Lilac season

Scent memories are hard to shake.  Every street in my city has a lilac tree.

Almost twenty years ago–God, can that be right?–I lived in a house in a hollow beside a railway embankment.  The hollow was filled in thick with lilac trees and the scent mingled with the iron smell of the tracks and the dew at dawn.

I had a bad time in that house.  Every year when the scent comes around again I remember how I lived then.

I wrote it into Scars of Kinship, like Alexander McQueen stitching human hair and fingernails into the seams of his garments.  I don’t know how it feels to a reader, this half-secret weight.  But I knew, when I figured out what this book was about, that it had to take place during lilac season.

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