I just finished (ok, is a poem every really finished?) a poem about Medusa.  This poem started out several months ago with a question, “What was Medusa like before her head was covered with snakes?  How did it get that way?”  I was fascinated by the idea that she created her hair that eventually turned into snakes.  I imagined her hair as dreadlocks, oil-coated, glossy, twisting curls.

I did a little research and found that many myths allude to her rape by Poseidon; some references have her offending Athena by her relationship with Poseidon.  Now the poem was taking on a very sexual theme.  The seduction made no sense to me.  It had to have been a rape that brought out the monster in Medusa.

Fortunately — very fortunately — I’ve never been raped.  I’ve had a few close calls, though.  I’ve also read many works about rapes — all very poweful.  Now that the poem seemed to have it’s own story to tell, it was all about the rape precipitating her change.  I know I didn’t deliberately set out to write about a rape, but that’s what happened.  I don’t know if it’ll measure up.

By the way, 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime.  Maybe we’d have greater awareness, if reptile-hair was always a result.