I Smelled a Gardenia Today 

A poem I wrote four years ago today. 


I smelled a gardenia today. 

It smelled of life and laughter. 

It smelled of death and loss.

I smelled, and my heart broke. 

My friend smiled and said: 

Have you ever smelled a gardenia? 

and Isn’t it just lovely? 

And I smiled while I cried inside. 

It was a lovely gardenia bush, 

With flowers white as an Easter lily. 

And Good Friday is tomorrow 

And I want the hurt to leave 

but I’m scared that it will. 

And my friend said – Are you OK? 

And I laughed and spoke of other things 

Afraid I would begin to weep 

With a heart as fragile as the bloom 

Will the smell so sweet ever speak 

Of peace and love and joy? 

Or must I wait til in heaven we meet? 

I smelled a gardenia today.

A bit of backstory:
My grandparents loved gardenias and had 2 huge bushes at their house. My grandfather loved to pick them and bring them inside until my grandmother complained the house “stank” of gardenia. But he’d still bring them in and she loved them too. My grandfather has been gone for several years now, but I just lost my grandmother last year on Good Friday.


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