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The Loutra Hotel

Flowering Late

She was in her autumn when he came, bear-
ing love, and a yucca plant. It stood guard
at her bedroom window; the panicles,
seedful and pendent, quivered. It was hard

for her to ignore the burst of long leaves,
that fountain of green; had it been a child
or a grave it would not have been better
tended. That yucca entirely beguiled

and involved her and yet it did not flower
until, years after, some soft lilacious
blooms broke out, hanging like snow on the green
daggers. And again she grew vivacious,

knew a pang of warmth, remembering how
his love took root when she believed her fate
was to pass her quiet years in brittle
endurance; then at last it flowered, late.