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They were old and forgetful but they both loved nature. Passing her in the hallway, he said “gardenia” and she said “chrysanthemum.” Every day was a new life, so they could see who they remembered in each another. Prom dates, spouses, secret lovers. They began favoring floral perfumes and the strong colors of summer gardens, she birdlike in a yellow jumper, he treelike in a bright-green cardigan. It was he who started the practice of waltzing after lunch. The green tree and the yellow bird. His hand held out to her, her delighted gasp, their bone-deep rhythm, their perfect whispered oompah-pahs.

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