Madness in women takes a particular form

It doesn’t snarl and lash out with the muscular

Intentionality of a male pit-bull, intent on savagery

Nor dissolve into rumination and despair like

Much used handkerchief incapable of holding more tears

No. Madness in women is like epilepsy

It creeps up unawares, whispering in your ear all the while

Maybe you won’t have another fit, perhaps you’re free

Of that taint, rendering you fallow, unthriving, jerking

Puppet without strings, held up by electric vault, the brain

A tormentor, a God, the plague, salvation

Madness in women has no tongue, no eyes

It feels blindly in the yellowing dusk of losing all

Ash in pockets weighing down, the taste of old

Wallpaper in the air like they just dropped another bomb

Eventually madness pins women in the middle of this locked room

A writhing insect needing no further dissection

And still they will come, with their sharpened knives and words

Still, they will pit her, with tarnish and shame

Till if she were not lost, lost, lost

She’d be sewn so tightly that nothing will escape

Save the wan light leaching from captivity

The drone of dying bees driving themselves into glass

A halo of dust motes dizzies in suffocating, breathless air

Where she can never open the window, scream bloody murder

Climb out, fall, puncture her beating heart on something sharp

And watch the introduction of crimson possess

An otherwise monochrome madness.

(Image by camila-quintero-franco-mc852jack1g-unsplash).

The publisher of this poem is found HERE. Christine Ray, of Brave & Reckless HERE here on WP is publishing a series of poems written to prompts HERE and this was mine to the prompt The Yellow Wallpaper by the eponymous author Charlotte Perkins Gillman HERE. Sadly come to find out, Gillman was a rabid racist so any respect for her work must be tempered by her racist perspectives. To see my other Brave & Reckless prompt contributions you can go HERE and to read the series I recommend you visit Christine’s site and read the other poets responses to her prompts, there are some excellent ones. I had to post this as a separate post because I’m not tied into WP so I cannot just republish it. But full credit goes to Christine Ray and Brave & Reckless.

5 Replies to “The Yellow Wallpaper (Brave & Reckless poetry prompt).”

  1. Oh thank you so much dearling – I really appreciate that and it is so lovely to see yourself here xoxo Sending you love and hoping you are doing ok? xo

  2. I’m not too bad, thank you! Hope the same for you! 😁

    Yes, I know I don’t always comment but I always enjoy reading you and this one was standout 👍👍🖤

  3. I can’t believe it took me so long to find that site, when I’ve been meaning to for so long! Sometimes I’m like a hatchling with open mouth just waiting for these things to be dropped in. 🙂 If I could come up with something like this from a prompt, I’d be very pleased. 💜

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