Thursday, March 28, 2013

Gardenia




My grandfather on my father's side was a showboat and loved an opulent gesture especially in front of grey-eyed ladies (which we all were) and every Easter would down to the florist's and buy gardenia corsages for us, the kind pierced in their stems with a long pearl hat pin.

Gardenia, if you know the smell, and for heaven's sake if you don't get thee to a nunnery, is cooly humid, like an attractively plump red-haired woman misting peas in a Vancouver island greenhouse with her hair in a bun, some of which has come undone.

There's an undertone of dirt-in-the-springtime, decay, of mushroom caps under snowmelt, and above that, the tender voice of a that woman in the greenhouse, now home with her sleepy infant boy in a cabin hewn of wood, and the scent is milk in a ceramic mug, and diaper-in-the-pail (not bad) and talcum, a hint of sparkling Champagne, and several yards of the best white silk being dragged across a floor of ancient stone.