Author: Reini Adelbert, Family, Loss, Memory, Poetry

Reini Adelbert

Usually he shaved in the shower. This time

he used the Maca root shave cream bought some

years back at the Body Shop in Djakarta. He ran his hand

over his chin which felt smooth, luxurious, clean.

He still had some Jaguar in a simple but stylish green

bottle with its silver stopper. The scent was immediate

and so distinct. Not sweet but intensely fragrant.

He had been eking out this lotion for years

since receiving it from his mother on one of her flights

from Europe to the Mother City. It was exactly the kind of gift

she would select – expensive, high quality and somewhat arcane.

He had never seen another bottle of Jaguar anywhere.

It was special, in itself and as a unique, one-off memory.


He would never again receive that Jaguar lotion from his mother,

as he would never again live this moment

or any other. There was no point in trying to replace

the precious bottle − the new one might prove to be

a subtle ‘improvement’ or more profitable facsimile,

but almost certainly the replacement would dilute his memory.


Nor was there any point in saving the dregs.

He splashed on some more,

and quietly saluted his mother.


*Photo credit: Axel Adelbert

About Reini Adelbert

Reini Adelbert was born in 1951 in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany. He was raised in Africa, and has worked as a lawyer and corporate soldier in various international locations while at the same time playing out his passion as singer and song writer. From his earliest years, he has loved the Cape of Storms and now fittingly lives in Simons Town. He is founder of False Bay Folk, and is a regular performer; he has recorded two albums, Leave Your Light On and Memories of Rain. His anthology of lyrics and biographic anecdotes, History Washes Away, was self-published in 2016. Recurring subjects in his writing are water, space (as in the Karoo), travel, equity and human fragility. Contributing author to the Life Righting Collective's This is how it is anthology.
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