The smell of toast reminds me of my father,
Not only because he was cremated.
He made it every morning,
In strips three to a slice of bread,
Golden soaked with butter as a happy death.
My mother was the smell of wet wool, flooring wax
Down a gruel-dim hall, nail polish remover and hairspray,
The Roman triumph of a Sunday roast on a tray,
And over them both, the maudlin miasma of tobacco.
It is said that oxygen is odourless
But surely only to our human noses
As we sniff our way from post to post,
Ashes to ashes, toast to toast.