Perfumed Ghosts – Poem

This is one of a series of poems, written by my Grandmother, that represent a portrait of her childhood in Thomas Hardy’s Wessex, places and people she loved who are, for the most part, no longer with us.

She dedicates each and every poem to her daughters, and has kindly given me permission to share them with you all, enjoy…


Perfumed Ghosts

Boiled eggs had a distinctive smell

With buttered toast, and tea

Served from a silver tray,

And sugar lumps picked up with tongs.


And in the hearth the kettle sang,

Its’ trivet hinged and black,

And war dared not impinge

On timeless English ritual.


On washdays, silver hair was crowned

With snowy lacy cap,

And freshly-laundered sheets

Laid reverently, with lavender


Grown in the arbour where the rose

Grew thickly round about

The ancient rustic wood;

A fragrant pathway to the door.


Geraniums lent distinctive scent

To summer days now past,

And the old ‘snowball’ tree

And silky strands of pampas grass.


Whilst near the back door, sage grew in

Abundance. Still my thoughts

Stray back when summer scents

Steal through our now-polluted air.


© Dorothy Davis-Sellick 1998 onwards



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Filed under Meet The Family, Other Folks Writings That I Like, Poem Of The Week, Poetry

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