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Lament for the Invisible Lesbians by Alison Binney

Updated: Jun 29

Lament for the Invisible Lesbians

by Alison Binney

published in Impossible Archetype, Issue 6

You hid yourselves so well, invisible ones,

you disappeared behind the masks you wore:

devoted daughters, governesses, nuns,

companions, witches, bluestockings and whores.

You kept the home fires burning, stepped aside,

played second fiddle, learned to smile and nod,

were always bridesmaids, sometimes even brides,

sought solace in your friendships, gardens, God.

Your vows were camouflaged as pleasantries,

your love-tokens concealed in attic rooms;

your lives are phantom limbs on family trees,

your dear ones’ names are missing from your tombs.

And those of you who couldn’t, who refused

to blot yourselves out, those who never learned

to patchwork discontent with gratitude,

were cast out, beaten, locked up, raped or burned.

For this, invisible sisters, and for all

you buttoned up, for all you were denied,

we colour ourselves in, speak out, stand tall,

join hands with you in sorrow and in pride.

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