I must be feeling morbid today as I work on compiling poems into book form, poems I’ve written over the years. Here is one that grabbed me a moment ago. (Soon to be found in a book called “ONCE LAUGHTER.”)
THE SMELL OF DEATH
It’s the taste of death we smell
when someone is aged and nearly gone,
the scent that lingers about them,
wafting to and fro,
an odour so atrocious we plug our noses lest we suffocate,
and we don’t breathe again until we’ve left the room.
You can’t mistake it—
it can’t be hidden,
and everyone recognizes it,
most everyone’s smelt it.
It’s the stench of old people—
everyone knows that—
it’s a horrid smell.
But is it truly the smell?
Or is it the import—
the nearness, the significance,
the idea it might be contagious, that the smell could emanate from you sooner than you expect, sooner than you want—that Death could come calling for you?
They say once you breathe death you never forget it.
It’s a smell that lingers forever.
C.A. MacKenzie is the author of (among other books) the novel WOLVES DON’T KNOCK, a psychological drama/thriller, available from the author or at various retailers including Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/Wolves-Dont-Knock-C-MacKenzie/dp/1927529387/].