Dominica poet, Whitney Greenaway featured on PBS NewsHour

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Whitney Greenaway is a New York-based poet who was recently featured on the “Brief but Spectacular” segment on PBS NewsHour! We’ve highlighted this Dominican artist before and continue to be amazed at her progress in the world of the Arts!

Her provocative poem is entitled “The Purging” and speaks of men from all angles, good, the bad and the ugly. Here’s the poem in its entirety:

There is the man I love, and there is the man who loves me, and there is the man I love because he loves me.

There is the man I took the morning-after pill for, and there is the man whose baby I kept, and there is the man whose baby I let go. There is the man born on the cusp of summer, and there is the man whose heart was made for a fall or six.

There is the man who holds my hand on the train, and there is the man who won’t even sit next to me there. There is the man I wish was my father, and there is the man who talks to me like he is. And there is the man, who when I was 16, invited me into his and my mother’s bedroom. And there is the man who taught me to forgive it.

There is the man who forgot my name, and there is the man who doesn’t know I have one. There is the man who takes my picture, and there is the man who, when I take a pretty picture, says nothing. And there is the man who says I only take pretty pictures, and there is the man who doesn’t believe that.

There is the man who has a wife, and there is the man who had a wife, and there is the man who is getting married, and there is the man who says bride is such a delicate word, and I am anything but delicate. And there is the man who says he is OK with being my husband, which is not the same as saying that he wants to be.

There is the man who tells me the way I need is unhealthy, without addressing that the way that he takes is also to my detriment. There is the man who has never taken me out, and there is the man who is always filling me in. There is the man who asks me to keep his secrets, and there is the man who has made me a public secret, and what is more skillful than that?

There is the man who says he loves my size, and there is the man who doesn’t mention it, and I find it hard to trust him, because how dare he treat me like how much space I take up in the bed has nothing to do with our relationship?

There is the man I feed sancoche, and there is the man I feed green smoothies, and there is the man I feed lies. There is the man who goes to church, and there is the man who doesn’t believe in God, and there is the man who believes in me.

There is the man whose mother still asks for me, and there is the man whose father is dead, and there is the man who tells me family is a foreign country, and who wants to stand in line for a visa you may not get approved for anyway?

There is the man who says he will never forget me, as if that is some kind of prize, to be chosen only to exist in memory. There is the man who says he will always love me, and that is still only a temporary comfort. And there is the man who says he will never leave. And there is no man who has kept his promise.

 

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