Amanda T. McIntyre
When the full moonlight, a sheet of beaten gold, poured
through the dark film of the night, there came the grey
bearded man of the woods riding his bicycle towards
the village to warn us about the coming days of bad weather.
I watched my mother pack documents in air tight bags
then cast simple spells in the shape of ‘X’ on the windows
to protect the house against the energies of the coming rain.
Then mama sat down and read to us from her book of stories
“Mythologies of the Mainland: The Mayan Legend of Huracan”
that invoked not just imagination but a clinical belief in structure:
introduction, rising action, complication, climax and conclusion.
Her recital was soon accompanied by the cacophony of winds
that rattled the galvanize roof, and was in fact proof
that we were surrounded by forces more powerful.
That evening, the deepest of mourning greys was pierced by
the flash fiction lines written in the hurricane’s cursive hand.
Through the window I saw a gale’s violence moving briskly
between the trembling leaves of the silk cotton tree
that branded our front yard with oral histories and folk vignettes.
I remembered Tanty from across the street talking about the devil
residing there within a network of passages encased in its bark;
a legend never so threatening to me, nor as dark as the sound of
thunder rumbling phrases on the base cleft of the sky’s prologue.
All the presumed authority of island lore disappeared in the ether.
No better vengeance, I now suppose, was sweeter for bastions like
the colonial house of shadows that brooded on the corner
watching and withstanding the weathered years. Stoic hours ended
that dreadful season and the futile belief in reason, like childhood faith,
that searched for hope in the monster’s devastatingly calm eye.
Amanda T. McIntyre is a Trinidadian author, artist and advocate focusing on cultural studies research and literary scholarship. Her work explores Caribbean socio-politics through recollecting and reconceiving mythologies and oral histories. She presented her research paper, “Migration, Myths and Mas” at the Rex Nettleford Arts Conference in Kingston (2019). Her essay “Queering Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival” was presented at the 5th European Geographies of Sexualities Conference in Prague (2019). Amanda’s short stories have been published in volumes 8 and 9 of the Womanspeak Journal of Writing and Art by Caribbean Women. She will be published once more in the forthcoming volume 10 of the Womanspeak Journal.