Jackie Allen


Scent Of Grief - Poem by Jackie Allen

I caught but a glimpse of her pale moonlike face.
She was wearing a yellow sweater with white lace.
Standing on tiptoes, peering over the edge, I
wondered, how cold was it, six feet below?

The scent of grief, a flashback milky white,
lay amongst the sweet aromatic flowers that night.
A blanket of grief wrapped itself around our home~
But why ever, always, three nights in a row?

Something was wrong. Something was very wrong.
I stood there on tiptoes, tried to be strong.
As confusion and disbelief held me in their arms,
I watched as Poppa placed a coin under each lid.

The air was permeated with mournful cries, trying
laughter, gossiping, silent sobbing, sighing.
Alas, the house was filled with relatives, strangers.
Did they not have homes, families of their own?

The wake was over. The truth, was indeed, a fact.
Preparations were being made to send her back
to God, closed up in a wooden box...in a box.
I couldn’t, still can’t... wrap my mind around it.


Poet's Notes about The Poem

Note:   This is completely a piece of fiction. 
However, when I was a young child, growing up in the
Cumberland Mountains of Appalachia, I came to believe,
that carnations, which had been dyed to achieve artificial
colors, had also somehow achieved an artificial scent,
distinctive of death, funerals, etc.. Imagine my surprise,
when I later was given some carnation seeds,  planted
them, and discovered, again, to my surprise, that they had
developed with that same “funeral scent.” 

To this day, whenever I smell a carnation, my mind 
travels back to Appalachia, and I’m at a wake, a
funeral home or at the family graveyard.

Comments about Scent Of Grief by Jackie Allen

  • Yasmin Khan (3/20/2015 12:08:00 PM)


    A sweet. gloomy atmosphere prevails. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • C.ann Penning (6/26/2013 12:04:00 AM)


    A lovely write I enjoyed for sure. (Report) Reply

  • Valerie Dohren (6/24/2013 8:47:00 AM)


    Carnations have further symbolic meaning - you may like to read my poem entitled My Lovely June. Enjoyed reading. (Report) Reply

Read all 3 comments »



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Poem Submitted: Monday, June 24, 2013

Poem Edited: Tuesday, June 25, 2013


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