Our assignment for today was to write a sestina poem. This has been one of my favorite’s by far, especially because the form is so strict and structured. The same six words end every sentence in every stanza, all in different order. I have taken some liberties with it,but found it really fun, and if you are someone who has trouble being creative, I suggest this poem as creativity loves constraints!
Dr. Jekyll’s Daughter
We could begin by fighting, but that is never the way
These things begin. You take off your tie,
And watch O’Reiley with your amber glass
And downstairs in my teepee I hide.
Playing with Barbies. I am taking all the heads off
But I’m just little so it’s fun, and I’m your daughter.
I’m your daughter.
Mom left and you said that was her way.
I was so scared that you would run off
Too. I’d be so alone without you, I would tie
Up all my Barbies in a sack, find places to hide
And never sleep until I found you and Mom with my Holmes’ glass.
The little one you bought me with the lens of real glass,
So I could play detective and find the lost daughters
Of my Barney doll which Mom was so good at hiding.
It’s heavy in my hands, held close to the floor as I make my way.
I tried to leave myself the clues like she would, to tie
Bits of red string around things, tight so they wouldn’t fall off.
You take them off
And you’re angry at the mess and I see your empty glass.
I look out of my teepee onto the floor, I see your tie.
You are so much bigger than me, and I’m your daughter.
That face of yours gets red like Mom’s lipstick as you make your way,
I wish my teepee wasn’t just a sheet and I could hide.
But you knock it over Mr. Hyde.
You stretch your big hand around my ankle and block off
Any chance of escape. I feel like I weigh
Nothing, I’m flying through space with bones of glass,
I scream at you, “I am your daughter!”
But you can scream louder, and you tie
Me down with incantations about red string tied
All over the house, and now it’s red welts on my own hide
Like tiger stripes, fitting as I am your daughter.
I love you daddy I hope they never come off
Because now we’re both scary in a looking-glass
You can tell we belong together. That way
You’ll always be tied to me, and you can’t run off
or hide from me like you did from mom, inside a glass.
I am your daughter Dr. Jekyll, and this is our way.
I found a wonderful sestina generator that I’d recommend trying, just type in your six words and it will have you up and running in no time: