“Violets contain ionone, which short-circuits our sense of smell. The flower continues to exude its fragrance, but we lose the ability to smell it. Wait a minute or two, and its smell will blare again. Then it will fade again, and so on.”
— Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of the Senses
Saying It with Flowers
A lovely gesture, the violets—
but their scent vanished
before you walked out the door.
“It will come back,” you promised.
And so it did, that sweet aroma,
radiating from the deep heart of the flowers
for brief moments before
coming and going with a greater regularity
than your coming and your going.
“There is a scientific cause for this,”
you noted, ” The fragrance is still there,
but we just lose our ability to smell it.
It will come back again.”
And you were right.
I could count upon it’s reappearance—
the mystery of its coming
and its going solved,
unlike your final exit
or why, when I requested
forget me nots,
violets are what
The prompt today was “radiate.”