Day 18: Madonna Complex

Today’s poem comes from a prompt by Marty McConnell that she references in this interview in Muzzle Magazine, a fantastic journal. Give it a try. This is my first pass at the prompt – I think I may work on it some more.

Prompt: (stanza 1) tell us what you are not (stanza 2) say where the light comes from (stanza 3) give three details about the hardest year of your life (stanza 4) tell a lie about who you are (stanza 5) tell us something you remember involving light (stanza 6) share a good memory (stanza 7) admit to the lie (stanza eight) describe an object that exemplifies who/what you are.

The Madonna Complex


I am not like other mothers.


Light emanates from my bones,

its brilliance astounding. Even God

tries to pilfer this brightness, manna

for the blind, rods and cones exploding

into kaleidoscope hallelujahs.


But that year, I was only darkness –

the fallow field, the leached soil.

Nothing would grow, even when

I watered it with blood and tears.

Even when I prayed. So I stopped


praying. I didn’t believe anymore.

When I was a girl, light filtered

through the clouds in parallel rays

and my grandmother pointed

toward the sky, told me that this

was proof that God existed.


My father was her only child,

my brothers her favorites, but she

taught me to love things that come

from the earth, treasure its seeds,

its shoots, its predictable bounty.


I never stopped believing,


and my son came to me from another

womb, that seed unfurling in my arms

into full bloom.  Light bursts from

his face in beams, in halos – every

smile is proof there is a God.


4 thoughts on “Day 18: Madonna Complex

  1. Pingback: Friday Freeforall: Prompts Roundup « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  2. Pingback: Napowrimo #23: skin | lost in translation

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