An Embedded Journalist Recants Too Late to Change History


Out of the night, rage, with tawny limbs
and braided hair, the sergeant’s smile
caught in her teeth. Medusa! Her name is fear
and the howl of my brothers still twitching

in burnt fields. Oh that tangle of serpents
about her head whips frenzy into her eyes: dreaded
locks flicker blood, like tongues, snickering
in a hunter’s moon. Leaps from horseback,

a whirl of short swords and a single red shriek:
even Gaia stands still for her daughter’s vicious
stride. And yet I am struck by my companions
to silence her savagery, as Greek generations

must never know that for just one kiss
I would stand here forever, and watch
her as she spits fire, and my bretheren
die as they embrace her sword arm.

–Taken from the journals of Antaeus,
who was slain by Hercules, that none
would ever know the craft that hides
the truth of leader of the Amazons.


This is my response to Trifecta’s writing prompt: write a piece between 33 and 333 words. Mine is 164 words, and it uses the following word/definition:

CRAFT (noun): 3 : skill in deceiving to gain an end

Everyone is invited to play.

This is a community-voted challenge, which means that readers have the opportunity to vote on their three favorites by visiting Trifecta’s site after the challenge closes on Thursday, at 7PM Eastern time.

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22 responses to “An Embedded Journalist Recants Too Late to Change History

  1. This is excellent!

    “Her name is fear and the howl of my brothers still twitching” <——- This line sets the tone so well. Your frighteningly beautiful depiction of Medusa throughout makes the ending so powerful. I could really since the hypnotic hold she has on Antaeus.

    One of my faves this week! 🙂

    • Thank you, Ivy! I have to admit, I fell in love with your work. The language and tone was beautiful, and it’s stuck with me throughout the week. Impressive writing!

  2. I love this Cherry…everything about it 😀 I just love how your mind works.
    Did you get my email from the other day? I’ve been tied up so this is NOT a guilt trip…yahoo has been acting goofy and so have my kids.

  3. This was fascinating. The imagery held me transfixed!

  4. I read this three times and wanted to “stand here forever”, too. Great write. Thanks for linking up and don’t forget to come back and vote!

  5. Fantastic-the closing para is out of the world!

  6. Great description of Medusa. She is one to be feared, for sure!

  7. Greek Myth! I love, love, love!

    • With a head full of serpents, she was the stuff of myth. But some historians suggest that she was an early leader of the Amazons. 🙂 I love that part of her. Thanks for reading!

  8. Terrific poem!
    Especially love: like tongues, snickering

  9. I love your depiction of Medusa. Great work!

  10. Powerful and you described Medusa in all her terrifying glory to a tee. Awesome bit of imagery throughout. ♥

  11. A wonderful narrative point of view and vivid imagery. Well done!

  12. That is powerful. A brilliant write. You have captured the image of Medusa so well. 🙂
    -HA

  13. Cherry, this was really wonderful! It’s intoxicatingly troubling — and such powerful and beautiful imagery. I loved it!!

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