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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.