Day 8 Poem-a-day challenge

Prompt from Maureen: “Today’s prompt asks you to name your alter-ego, and then describe him/her in detail. Then write in your alter-ego’s voice. Maybe your alter-ego is a streetwise detective, or a superhero, or a very small goldfinch. Whoever or whatever your alternate self may be, I hope this prompt lets you stretch both your writing skills and your self-knowledge.” (https://www.napowrimo.net/)

Turns out my alter-ego is not a small goldfinch!! Below is my first draft based on the prompt.

Medusa by Caravaggio, 16th century

Medusa’s Daughter

“I turn your face around! It is my face.

That frozen rage is what I must explore—

Oh secret, self-enclosed, and ravaged place!

This is the gift I thank Medusa for.”

                        May Sarton

Flash! Fire! Red! Explosion!

Hair flies wildly, hands & arms flail,

she paces as she screams like a banshee.

She tears things to shreds, she slams doors,

throws precious items to the ground.

She snorts and cries and speaks in tongues.

Fire shoots from her nostrils, ears, and mouth.

She stamps her feet and runs out the door,

floorboards, windows, & doors reverberating

the final slam.

You have ignited the rage of your alter-ego.

Stand back as there will be no reprieve

until the fire dies down from its own self-consuming power.

No, not Medusa. I am Medusa’s daughter.

No snakes visible, but hair electrified.

Awful & caustic words spew from my mouth,

no longer buried underground, a volcano erupted.

I will eat you alive for having set this fire.

Do you know who I am?

I am Medusa’s daughter.

This rage is my birthright.

It is mine to claim.

It is mine to use.

It is mine to paint canvases red

until the tube of crimson is spent.

It is mine to cry hysterically,

to scream like a banshee,

to laugh like a hyena,

to slam like a wild woman,

to shatter, to break, to throw,

to stamp, to pace, to shout,

to curse everything present & gone

until Medusa rings the bell.

Medusa’s daughter, my alter-ego

recedes as my sweet self re-emerges–

woman with the golden curls,

warm smile, kind voice, saccharin words

drives Medusa’s daughter underground

to that “self-enclosed, and ravaged place”

until my honey sticky sweet self

says with a flash in my eye,

“whatever you say, dear.”

Jacquelyn Markham (4/8/2022)