My mother preferred alstroemeria to lily.
When I would ask her to buy lilies she would return,
a bag of groceries in one arm, alstroemerias in
the other. She did not understand what I had
against alstroemeria. She would put them in a vase
on my dresser. Week after week, I watched them die.
They died quickly, curling up at the edges, crackling
like crêpe paper. They were weak and they were
not lilies. When my mother died there were no flowers,
only ashes. That day I went to the market and bought
alstroemerias, armfuls of them. I planted them
about the house.

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