I came across an article on the internet recently which made me very angry. The author was talking about how it’s the women’s fault if they are left holding the baby, that maybe fathers didn’t want them from the start. The tenor of the work can be summarised as follows:
Don’t come to complain to me about how harsh your life is. It’s self-inflicted: you wanted children, so deal with it. I do not blame errant fathers at all. Especially my errant father. He never wanted children.
This was written in response to that, as well as to the fact that many of my friends have divorced in recent years because of ‘errant husbands’, and is linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night. It’s also an exercise in the use of myths in poetry, which was my latest module for the poetry course I am doing.
Don’t expect us to be grateful, Medea.
Nobody asked for your sacrifice.
Jason would have coped fine without the scattering of body parts.
That’s when he should have realized you’re mental,
only thinking of yourself
under the disguise of undying love.
No wonder he found somebody new,
without the grandiloquent gestures.
He needed rest after his journey, bless him,
and all you can offer is barbaric revenge…
Agamemnon returned from Troy a hero,
having left me to struggle for so many years
alone yet not free
mourning the daughter he’d sacrificed for his mission, his ego.
It’s all about ego in the end, you see.
His spoils of war in the shape of a nubile wench:
his embarrassed smile barely veiling
the testosterone pride of middle-aged conquest.
‘You’d grown a little stale.
I’d forgotten how to let fun into my life.’
Was I really the only one to see the feet sodden with clay
on this former giant of a man?
How did he turn my children against me,
using absence to tenderise their flesh so willing
to choose his account over mine?
In all discarded, bitter women
there’s a Jocasta lying in wait:
jewellery poised to maim errant fathers,
secretly rooting for the son to take over,
unable to bear mistaken loss.