I rinsed the stems
and lifted the dead blossoms
from those still palpable

with color and scent,
then set the vase down again
like a scale whose one side,

unburdened, rises.
The tiger lily lasted another
week. Lifting it, I thought

of Demeter and Mary
outlasting what must have felt,
at first, like desertion.

Laurie Lamon

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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 6, on page 32
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