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

This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 20 Number 6, on page 32
Copyright © 2017 The New Criterion | www.newcriterion.com
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