Guide These, My Hands
On display at Train Station Park, 400 S. Main Street, Bentonville, AR
Guide These, My Hands is a sculpture in fabric, embroidery thread, and steel created by sculptor Danielle Hatch and poet Traci Rae Manos. Traci’s poem Foothills Healer is hand-sewn into a continuous ruffle made of 126 yards of weatherproof nylon. The artwork honors the compassion and resilience of the women of Northwest Arkansas and celebrates traditional folk medicine practiced in the Ozark Mountains. The magenta fabric evokes the flower of the wild burdock plant, known for its medicinal properties. Twenty-two volunteers––all women living in Northwest Arkansas––helped to embroider the artwork:
|Michelle Baker||Nicole Hansen||Jocelyn Peterson|
|Meredith Bergstrom||Kristin Johnson||Steph Piston|
|Keely Brice||Alice Kelly||Trisha Posey|
|Diana Cascante||Rebecca Kelly||Loretta Radeke|
|Chelsea Carskaddon||Kirsten Mason||Karen Sasine|
|Maria Conroy||Tara Norwood||Rikki Skopp|
|Charlotte Darling||Anna Peterson||BethanySmith|
Poem Sewn onto Fabric:
Make me of a quiet mind and steadfast heart.
Wake me before the sap rises in the pulp
and the buds spring forth, that I might sense
the first stem’s quiver in my marrow. Then will
I rise early and take to the woods. I will lift mine
eyes to these hills from whence comes my help.
Guide these, my hands, to the sassafras and burdock,
to the blue burvene, dogwood and wild cherry,
so too, to the roots of sarsaparilla and mayapple.
For the physicians here are few and far-between.
The roads, likewise, slow-going. And it falls
on us women-folk to see to it that our neighbors
and loved ones are looked after in times of need—
whether they be young or old, sick or dying,
or with child. We are the night watchmen.
It is we who keep the kerosene lamps.
Traci Rae Manos