2021 - 2022 Modern Volume 21

‘Defiance’: A Poem.

By Ben Danbury

History can often be understood through the lens of individual struggle. LGBTQ+ history is no exception; for every act of persecution, there were brave people willing to defy societal norms and fight for a more just future. As a bisexual man, I count myself lucky to live in a society that, for the most part, supports and welcomes its LGBTQ+ population. This poem serves as a metaphor for the sacrifice and bravery of those who strove for acceptance. 

‘Defiance’

Bent-double, hunched over,
defying its weight
A seedling, locked up by an almighty jailer,
Nature had deemed it so.

‘Imprisonment!
Thou art tarnished with infernal symmetry!
Thy twisted roots are but unholy.
Thou wouldst corrupt our gentle, peace loving folk’.

Thus, flowers of the faith mingled and bloomed in unison,
and perverse seedlings were condemned to rot.
Yet one brave soul defied this unjust edict, and wailed into the darkness of the night:

‘I may seem different to you, but I am of the same Earth, the same soil, the same kin!
I wish no harm upon you, I forgive thy trespasses, I merely want to live!’

The overgrown hatred of those who held power
Could not be burned by such damning words.
Only Time’s fateful scythe, inching ever so near,
Would save the condemned from their divine curse.

As for the seedling, broken yet proud
It died before it could set eyes on the sun
Yet its legacy lives on in the form of a fire
That only was sparked through the actions of one.