about pretty medusa


Our Pretty Medusa

Before Medusa was murdered,
before she was hunted by man after man, trying to make his dreams out of her death
before she was made into a monster
— Medusa was a girl.

Just like today,

the kind of girl cursed
with the kind of beauty
the gods can’t keep their hungry hands off of.

Pretty Medusa was just going to Athena's temple to pray,

when Poseidon saw her
when Poseidon caught her
when he used his power
to take her own body away.

Just like today.

Our hearts should break
for Medusa.
Our blood should boil
for her pain.

Athena’s should have too.
Instead, she warped Medusa’s assault into a personal insult.
buried empathy under offense
and decided that this girl, who just wanted to pray, deserved to be punished.

Just like today,
She had to suffer twice.

Athena turned pretty Medusa's silky hair to swarming snakes
changing the shape of her face
into something so hard to look at, it would turn even sympathetic glances to stone.

While Poseidon walked away.

Just like today.
the world always did confuse beauty for goodness
so made Medusa a monster.

Not enough to have her relive old pain
brave men bravely came to give her new ones.
To collect the disturbing, disgusting, head
of our pretty Medusa.

But Medusa had no mercy.
It had been taken from her that day in the temple.
So she killed them all.
Hair hissing as she overpowered every man.

I wish the myth ended there.

Medusa finally feeling safe
surrounded by the skeletons of those who tried to take.
A warning to men about the monsters they make.

But just like today
The gods wouldn’t walk away
until she was buried.

So they gave a new brave hero 
the pretty weapons he needed to kill the ugly beast

And he murdered our pretty Medusa.
Freeing her from her head and life under assault with the same swing.

As the murderer flew off with Medusa’s head in his hands
I can't help but think of it smiling with relief.

The first peace
she had since she went to the temple to pray. 

Copyright 2018 by Paul Curry