Treasure Island

Lesbia Harford

(1891 - 1927 / Australia)

You want a lily


You want a lily
And you plead with me
'Give me my lily back.'
I went to see
A friend last night and on her mantelshelf
I saw some lilies,
Image of myself,
And most unlike your dream of purity.
They had been small green lilies, never white
For man's delight
In their most blissful hours.
But now the flowers
Had shrivelled and instead
Shone spikes of seeds,
Burned spikes of seeds,
Burned red
As love and death and fierce futurity.
There's this much of the lily left in me.

Submitted: Thursday, April 15, 2010

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