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 thoughts on “carnations

  1. Sheila Seiler Lagrand

    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

      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.

  2. Owen

    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

  3. Valerie Kamikubo

    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.


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