I don’t do well in the sun like Lily by Breda Wall Ryan

Lily with her speckled throat

and tongue made for kissing

flashed a ring her auntie stole

from Woolworths on Saturday.

She swore the stone was as real

as her glamour. She wore

a store-bought dress printed

with showy flowers, a stunner

I had to pretend to admire

and try not to gag on my envy.

I strolled through the park

at her side in my mother-

stitched button-through cotton,

Lily all fashion-plate glam, hips

swinging, an eye-catcher named,

she said, for the perfumed flower

in the formal beds.


A scarlet

beetle crept over my wrist,

parting the hairs in search

of something lush to munch;

a gem, polished and gleaming.

I slipped it into the bold,

open mouth of a Stargazer Lily.



Breda Wall Ryan's debut collection In a Hare's Eye (Doire Press) won the Shine/Strong Award for a first collection in 2016. Her latest volume, Raven Mothers (Doire Press 2018) is available here.  

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