every funeral i’ve ever been to
smelled of carnations
so every time the scent comes my way
i think of my grandpa
my cousins, pam and janet
their lifeless, stiff, pale bodies
from head to hips shown
in a casket with white silk
makeup on the skin
that they never wore

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Wayne says:

    Scents can do that to us. Make associations that linger and wait to emerge

  2. Nancy,
    This piece takes me right there beside you to those caskets looming, waiting for us to approach and look. Or are they simply waiting for us?

    More for my tour de grief this week.

    My mother loved carnations, she said. Claimed to favor them above all others. I think she was expressing her essential frugality–or at least it was one more instance of Not Wanting Anyone To Go To Any Trouble, which seemed to be her mission.

    1. davis says:

      tour de grief…oh, Sheila…i like that. there is a kind of humor that seems right…and helps in the hardest of times. sometimes from someone that we know understands and sometimes it comes out of our own mouth in the process of accepting what is. i love your sense of humor.

  3. S. Etole says:

    an unnatural sleep scented …

    1. davis says:

      wonderful words

  4. A simple scent, just the smallest detection of it, can pull up and pull out so much.

    1. davis says:

      it is amazing.

  5. Owen says:

    exactly right and why so many of us are not so fond of said flower.

    “makeup on the skin…never wore before” is poignant and picture perfect

    1. davis says:

      Scents can bring keen memories…

  6. I’ve always thought that carnations were to flower arrangements what peanuts were to mixed nuts… filler. But perhaps you’ve touched on the real reason that I haven’t cared for them.

    1. davis says:

      I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy them. interesting history though…

  7. steve says:

    So true, people should give flowers to the living to enjoy. Not wait until they pass.

    1. davis says:

      Flowers for the living. Good point.

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