Yvonne Zipter

A Short History of the History of Lesbians
by Yvonne Zipter

Coming from the most notorious city in Canada,
two farm girls in the 1940s would naturally do
the unexpected, would fall for each other
over the slap of a puck, the scrape of skates

on the outdoor ice rinks of Moose Jaw.
A half century later, their letters fly out
from boxes of photos like injured birds,
names clipped from the end of each missive.

It might have been just one more walk,
beneath the moonlight hue. Darling,
it meant everything, because I walked with you,

reads one note, the author of it torn
from the much-folded slip of paper, leaving
no end but a ragged edge, a lifetime spent
erasing themselves from their own biographies.

Note: the words in italics are from a letter written by Pat Henschel to Terry Donahue.

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 22, Issue 4.

Yvonne ZipterYvonne Zipter is the author of the full-length collections Kissing the Long Face of the Greyhound (Terrapin Books, 2020) and The Patience of Metal (a Lambda Literary Award Finalist) and the chapbook Like Some Bookie God.  Her published poems are currently for sale in two poetry-vending machines in Chicago, from which the proceeds are donated to the nonprofit arts organization Arts Alive Chicago.

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