Marķa's Alstroemeria
by Dave Oliphant

not knowing what gift
to buy for her
to celebrate our 48th
then found this flower

with its lance-shaped leaves
& on its flare-hued
petals dash-like upright streaks
as if sparks spewed

against their orangey-yellow skies
from their harmless volcanoes
of vivid livid ovaries
& after thinking those

with Incan or Peruvian
lilies their non-Linnaean names
to her might mean
but too-bright gaudy flames

read on the label
hybrid of summer-grown Brazilian
with the winter-bred perennial
from her own thin

land north to south
of her native Chile
she has lived without
for almost now half-a-century

not knowing what length
love’s fire might last
while this bouquet’s one-week
guarantee already has passed

yet uprooted from the
earth in a vase
of water still lovely
as she who place

of birth did sacrifice
& her relations’ lives
for mine me this
match endures & thrives

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