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 damp 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 pillar to post,
Ashes to ashes, toast to toast.