The poppies in my meadow did not blossom in profusion. They did not bloom in thick patches like the flowers that dotted the valleys. Sparse and random, they competed for survival with the grass and wildflowers. They were wild and uncultivated and unrestrained. They were as unexpected and vulnerable and frail as love itself. They are the flower of love, I thought. And yes, as my aunt had said, they are the flower of death. I suppose that death is the only thing as persistent as love.

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