for St Therese of Lisieux, also known as
Saint Teresa of the Roses
The top note is sweetness:
a quick hit of violets, but then,
the strain of saccharine additives,
too much, already, for some.
Its blend has been revised
to suit more modern tastes;
back to the natural, streak
of root and earth within the syrup.
In the sillage is the scent
of the roses for which she is known.
Her rose oil calms your soul,
heals your heart. Warms your skin.
Below its velvet touch comes
the tang of blood, fitting
for a woman’s body: faith’s flow
with all its clots and guts. Then
something substantial again –
the structured gleam of metal,
an unsheathed sword-flash
at the battle ground. The soul’s base,
infused with iron, endures.