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A death, a flower, a funeral:

A flower the widow turned away,

An orchid, left to me,

Child, and killer of orchids.

The months passed, and passed,

Yet, its stubborn blossoms remained.

Yesterday, the last bloom

Spent itself, I could tell

It wanted to be clipped.

It was dull, a bit brown,

And it drooped,

As if, life well lived,

But now there are seven,

New blossoms, ready to open.

I think how appropriate,

A symbol of our mortality,

Four days before Ash Wednesday.

And me, not even Catholic,

Yet impressed–

With what it means to die,

And not die, to live forever,

Even as we’re gone.