This poem is so sweet. I can see Lily sitting on a park bench, and it must be early in the cold season, perhaps after an early light snow, because she is not too cold in a skirt, and the bench is not too snow-covered to sit on, and the leaves are not totally covered, so that she can see them and pick them up, and the sky is not totally cloud-covered because the sun is shining.
This kind of behavior is so typical for some little girls (probably not for Pansy). It shows a basically caring and compassionate nature. One can often get accurate glimpses into a person’s nature by observing little actions or heeding brief words. You have revealed a lot about Lily in just a few words: little children, tender love, a good nap, fragile, proper, gently, hopes. This poem is so different from your dark/angsty battle poems.
The last two lines come as a bit of a surprise, because they change from a focus on Lily’s behavior to a focus on Severus’ emotional reaction to what he sees. He is smart; he can see immediately that she is special.
Sometimes in free verse the line breaks seem to be located in purely arbitrary places in the sentences, and I find that to be jarring, but you have made your line breaks between coherent elements of the sentences, not fracturing phrases abnormally, and for me that makes the poem easier to read.
In the midst of the dark, sometimes brutal, sometimes harsh lives that these characters led in their later years, it is refreshing to dwell for a moment on earlier, happier moments when they were young children and life was as simple as caring for fallen leaves in your lap. Thanks for writing.
Author's Response: Thank you! :) From time to time I like to take a break from dark/angst and write something happier or a little more quirky. And, if I am to be honest, I totally used my sister as a model for Lily. My sister is three now, but she takes care of everything: a pencil, a car, a pillow, keys, flowers, baby dolls, stuffed animals, her pacifier, books... They are all under her care and she makes sure to sing to them, and cradle them, and put them to bed. It is so adorable! And I figured that even someone who is 9 or 10 would still be apt to do such things, since I certainly was. :) Thank you for reading and reviewing! ~Nagini