She saw them at the grocery store,
in the produce section,
next to the asparagus.
They were slightly wilted,
but she knew they'd just need a little love,
a drink of cool water,
a sunny windowsill.
She put the child seat down in the shopping cart
and set them down gently,
as she had done thousands of times before
with her babies.
She smiled down on calla lilies
that were the same mauve color
that her mother had obsessively decorated her childhood home
in the 80s.
Those were happy times.
She remembered her grandparents and her heart squeezed tight
in her chest.
And she decided right then to buy a pack
of Marlboro reds
at the checkout counter.
Even if she never smoked a single one.
When her husband got home from work,
hands still greasy from working long on engines,
she told him thank you for buying her the flowers.
She meant it,
because she knew he would have picked them up
if he'd have thought of it.
And she was tired of waiting for mauve calla lilies
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