Shrinking

you learned to shrink

for a family that liked

it’s daughters invisible

my whole family

lurked invisibly

for generations

in the corners of rooms

or on barrack room bunks

silent till summoned

quiet in the land

you learned the art

of being empty

believing them

when they told you

you are nothing

we never needed to be told

we knew our place

waiting in the shadows

to fulfil our better’s needs.

or die obediently in their wars.

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