Medusa’s Epic

I.
My family are immortal,
Born of Titans and sea.
My family are all monsters.
All, except for me.
My father is a creature with
Crab claws, a merman’s tail.
I have soft hands, soft features.
I am mortal. I am frail.
My mother is a goddess,
Her hair smells of sea and salt.
She has the strength of the ocean
And my beauty is her fault.
My sisters are both giants.
Their names mean strength and brawn
But my name means protection.
A curse to do me harm.
My brother is a dragon,
Full of venom and spite.
He’ll coil around his apple tree
And kill you with one bite.
Our name, Gorgon, means terrible.
But for me it isn’t true.
My hair is golden sunsets.
My eyes the deep sea blue.
My family are all monsters,
Nightmares in the dark.
Creatures of legend and myth.
Whilst I am beyond remark.
.
.
II.
My childhood clouds in mystery.
No one cared about my strife
I spent my time in solitude,
An isolated life.
At the utmost point of the mountain
is where I made my home.
My sisters rarely visited.
For the most I was alone.
I gazed upon the vale,
Watching the lives of little men
Thinking of the life I could have had,
If I’d been born as one of them.
But the fates had a plan for me
Which drew me down the tor.
They had a plan to destroy me,
To reveal the venom at my core.
I’d venture from my home sometimes,
To revel alongside mankind.
Amongst the drunken throng, you see,
Anonymity I would find.
No one saw my golden hair,
My face hidden in a mask.
To laugh and sing and dance to songs
Was my only happy task.
But a mid-June Panthenaia
Was where Poseidon spotted me.
Amidst Athena’s temple
He tore my dress with glee.
.
.
III.
I might have had a chance,
If I had been a titan.
If I’d had claws and a tail,
And the strength of a great python.
He kissed me harsh and fiercely
Freezing skin and bone.
Whilst cried for my mother.
Wished that I’d stayed home.
When Poseidon had filled the cup
And spilt mine on the floor
He left me crying, a sorry state,
Wanting me no more.
Athena understood me,
Because Athena is so wise.
She saw the anger in my stare
And burnt the venom on my thighs.
Athena gave me a choice,
To stay a mortal-torn.
Or curse me with a power which
Would make me a titan reborn.
If I had been a titan,
I might have had a chance.
So I accepted Athena’s gift to
Be able kill a man with a glance.
My golden hair recoiled,
Snakes sprung from my head.
Now anyone who touched me,
Would end up stone cold dead.
.
.
IV.
Perseus was a hero,
His start the same as mine.
His mother was a mortal,
But his father was divine.
Zeus, brother of my rapist,
Came to Danae one evening.
He showered her with soft kisses
In the form of a golden spring.
But King Acrisius of Argos
Had heard his fortune told
And believed Danae’s son would kill him
Before he could grow old.
When he learned Danae was pregnant,
He threw her in the sea.
Rescued by another king’s brother,
And as a hero raised to be.
King Polydectes fell in love with Danae,
But Perseus forbid their match.
The king would not give up easily,
And a plot began to hatch.
For the marriage of Hippodamia
He called people to bring offerings.
But for the horse tamer’s stable
Perseus could provide nothing.
Perseus was ashamed,
Unable to do his best.
So the King gave a command
And my head became his quest.
.
.
V.
I brought many men to ruin.
I was a formidable foe.
I was finally a monster
My family cared to know.
Rumours spread of my appearance
Many called it “punishment”.
But I knew Athena, wise Athena,
As only benevolent.
My appearance was grotesque,
I could turn men to stone.
And had I ever wanted,
I could have taken every throne.
I think Athena knew this.
She knew I’d never yield.
So when Perseus came for me,
She gave him a bronze shield.
Perseus fought bravely.
Fearless. Like a soldier.
And he swept that fatal blow
Took my head clean from my shoulders.
From my neck sprung my children
In a golden river flood.
Pegasus and Chrysaor
Of God and Gorgon blood.
Perseus took my head in a bag,
Carried it to his king.
Whilst Polydectes plotted revenge
Unaware of my continued sting.
.
.
VI.
Perseus was a hero
Everyone knew it to be true.
Having slain an evil monster,
His glory only grew.
He returned to Polydectes
Via Ethiopia
Plagued by Poseidon was this place
Full of drowning screams of fear.
For Poseidon had been insulted
And punished with fierce cruelty.
And only Andromeda could win the day
By sacrificing her beauty.
A story which sounds familiar
Yet she retains her fame.
Because rather than fight back, instead,
She let Perseus take the blame.
He killed a fearsome sea creature
He turned it to cold stone.
Then Andromeda’s father
Offered Perseus a home.
All the while I hung there,
My hair tangled in his hands.
Never getting the glory,
For saving those dry lands.
Athena took my head back
Placed me on her shield.
As a reminder to all women
Of the power that we wield.
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