Medusa's Misunderstood

She was beautiful, they said
And beautiful things were deadly
Too tantalizing to tame
Too tempting to restrain
Poseidon took her in his reign
Dutifully put her in her place
Said good girls stayed quiet
Said good girls were meek
Said good girls had no right
To shout or speak
If the gods made them look a certain way
Good girls shouldn't have any right to complain
No, the gods had the power to create
They, too, had the power to take

Athena found her on the floor
Disrobed, broken, torn
Thank gods, Medusa thought
Someone who would understand
You wear the weight of womanhood
Between your legs like I do
You weave the wounds of womanhood
Like battle scars across your skin
Here, a beloved friend, comforting kin
Come nurture me, refuge me, help me avenge
Athena turned up her nose, turned blind
From the creature writhing in despair
Why believe the hard truth
As the goddess of what's fair

Hair began to writhe and wriggle
Hissed shame into her ears
You filthy whore, it's all your fault
She tried to run from all her fears
New men came to try to bind her
To cut her down to size
She learned to wield her stony stare
Meet them all right in the eyes
If only Poseidon could see her now
Try to touch her, she'd make him pay
She'd bravely hold her head up
She'd never look away
And all these claims of monsters
That people shouted as they ran
She'd wonder, was she really
Or was the monster really man?

About the Author

Ambrielle Butler is a writer and poet from Texas. Her poetry can be found in publications such as Red Ogre Review, The Loch Raven Review, Valley Voices, Giving Room Mag, Plainsongs, and others. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @ajbutlerwriting.