Sisters conflicted over roles, Part II

Sisters conflicted over roles, Part II

(This interview has been edited for clarity and length)

 

Damn Antigone?

Yes, my words.

Gutsy, but understand

promises were made.

 

The script was clear:

I’d wear submission

like a crown

foiling her pigheadedness.

Then, in one iconic turn,

I’d follow her to death.

 

Yes, I take this personally!

She rewrote my part

and stole the stage,

dressed me in untragic flaws,

cast me against her wall.

Do shadows stand a chance?

 

A “foil,” she said,

“Understudy” isn’t you.

 

Who was she to know?

She missed the cues.

Never knew who I was

or how I grew.

 

No, not much left.

No family or crown.

No respect to rest

my laurels on.

I wear the same dress

every day and sit

in dust to wait.

 

For an oracle, of course.

One must surely come.

Ismene, she will say,

your fate is … thus and so.

I know there’s more:

another stage, script,

chance to prove a child

can outstrip a family curse.    

 

The closing scene,

it’s in my mind:

I exit right –

triumphant, even brave –

redeemer of my kin.

 

How? Who knows?

That’s what oracles are for.

But, can you see it now?

Royals frown,

townsmen bow,

prophets gasp,

Chorus sings

my praise on cue.

No more oblivion.

They know my name.

At last, they know my name.

 

 

Copyright © 2016 Carolyn Martin.

Carolyn Martin retains all rights to this work, granting Fickle Muses one-time, non-exclusive electronic publication rights. Please contact the creator to request permission for reprints or other uses of this work.


Previously published in: Carolyn Martin, The Way a Woman Knows (Portland, OR: The Poetry Box, 2015)

Poetry,