Peter Lilly

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I’ve seen the scars of your
developing years,
they match the knuckles
of your guardians.

Know this,
you are an innocent perpetrator
of the darkest of sins,

for those were your suckling years.

And as a cub you learned to bite

and as a man you’ve learned again

and the way the walls hit your fists
is now your solace.

Now the only escape
is a punishment
you cannot live through,
a love
your guilt will not let you receive,
and a childhood
your self-consciousness will not let you re-enter.

The only escape
is a punishment
and a love
and a childhood.

The only escape
is death and new life.

Your Stare

You have this way of staring.
A wonder,
an infancy being filled.
Some people might call it vacant,
but it is the very opposite of vacancy.
It is the silent, open-mouthed gaze
of intense and unashamed presence.
A reaction to the wonder of being,
without the pretense of show,
or the embarrassment of wanting to look
like you already know.

Peter Lilly is a British poet. Originally from Gloucester, he studied Theology in London, where he then worked with the homeless, and now lives in Montpellier, France, with his wife and son. His poetry has appeared in the 2018 anthology Please Hear What I am Not Saying, and the online journals Barehands and Fly on the Wall Webzine. Blog: Twitter: @peterlillypoems

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