Samantha Thornhill’s “West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead” — Poetry that Steals the heART
During the past few weeks, I have been working with engineers and construction experts for my internship. It’s been loads of things I love to do — technical writing, interviews, data analysis, sustainability analysis…and a lot of sleeping when I get home.
One of my interviews was with Jan, the director of the beautiful Arboretum in the city. We talked for a bit before the actual interview – our experiences, my accents, my work, her interests and travels. How we ended up talking about art, I am unsure of. End of story… she sent me an email to go visit Joanne’s Art Gallery downtown.
After work on Friday, I took a stroll to 150 Franklin Street Gallery — Boy, my heart! It was beautiful – gorgeous. See, it was the poetry weaved into paintings, and quilts, and photographs. It was a powerful place to be in and see. It had been a while, you know, since I connected with the art of poetry, painting…
After the talk by the new artist, Adrianna, about her work in China, Joanne introduced the poets in-the-house to the audience. They offered to share a poem with us…Samantha did West Indian Woman Speaks from the Dead. I had volunteered to take pictures during the event, and was ready to take shots, when she begun….
Mind blown, my heart captured, tears forming….I just had to sit down. I couldn’t explain how I felt, but how words can hold your heart captive when you pay them attention. The West Indian Woman words caught me as — so powerful. She seemed like she knew who she was, what she had — and was confident, certain, sure, without doubting of her value and worth to “the world” the poem presented to us — “her husband”.
It started to cause me think of women I knew…who would allow themselves be beat up by the poison they let through their ears, enveloped in the words of ignorant folks. There is a woman who would think of her self of no worth to her world because of the actions and in-actions of others. But here is a West Indian Woman who Speaks from the Dead, and even in death is more than aware of her identity, her worth and her value. She “don’t” need her husband’s words or actions to prove anything to others to validate who she is. She knows, and she knows, and she knows that she knows that she knows! And I love it. I pray that women will be strengthen within by their knowledge of the truth of their identity, their value and….I wonder, I really wonder, how this West Indian Woman walked when alive.