Lilies for Lily by Meg Gripton-Cooper

I bought lilies for Lily,
my lunar girl, skybright and glowing.
They are white where she is blue,
and they are soft where she is not.

I spied her in the woods one day,
spied her from above, like the magpie spies
its silver and gold. Silver
and gold for Lily, my stolen treasure.

She looked like a girl who has lived
feral and sharp, for a thousand years.
I crouched, unseen and unspied,
watching Lily, my moonstruck raven.

Lily, you storm, you terror of a girl —
why were you there, where the earthworms play?
That icy Thursday, in the falling dusk,
with your ivory kneecaps deep in the dirt.

Looking for the black cat, escaped
and lost in the heavy gloom.
You were heartbroken, your mother said.
She is a liar, Lily, and so are you.

You have enchanted me,
deep and drowsy, tempest-spun.
I bought you lilies, picked them with sunstained hands
because I know you could never abide bluebells.

Abide my lilies instead. Abide, Lily,
and we can unearth the secrets you buried.
We’ll plant your lilies, together in frost,
maybe even howl at the moon.

Meg Gripton-Cooper, 21, has just completed a degree in Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, and is inspired by poets such as Anne Carson, Anna Akhmatova, and Arthur Rimbaud. She has previously been published in New Writing Matter 2018.

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