Every year, on her birthday, my mother got twelve roses
from an old admirer. Even after he died, the roses kept coming:
the way some people leave paintings and furniture,
this man left bulletins of flowers,
his way of saying that the legend of my mother’s beauty
had simply gone underground.
. . .
After ten years, the roses stopped.
But all that time I thought
The dead could minister to the living;
. . . Louise Gluck (from here)