Diana Sampey


Emma put the lilies down on the gravestone. Pale-edged on the bulletcoloured slabs, they lay there, momentary fragile offerings. She stepped back with some satisfaction. Lilies for the dead. The creamy, magnolia-tipped curls of the lilies, with their hard bright stamens, were fitting. J u g lilies, of course. Years ago, when she was a child, her mother had discovered that jug lilies meant death, and she had thrown them all out of the house, tipping out the tall vases, so that the white and gold lilies shot arching into the long grass. Then she had rooted them out of the front garden, from the narrow strip that ran along the verandah, and they later lay in a pile of broken jade leaves and stiff waxy faces turned up to the sun.



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