Monday, April 14, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 45 - Discovered Too Late

Here's a backstory poem for the husband of last week's poem narrator, and the step father of this narrator. Luther is a fur trapper in the northern New Brunswick woods. It's the 1830's, and he lives an isolated life in their cabin, especially when winter sets in and they are unable to leave for weeks at a time.

Discovered Too Late

I vowed to be the hero of her life
The morning that I saw her with her son
Tears rose inside as she became my wife
No longer widow - bride again, fears done
I showed the little fella how to hunt
We waited till he was asleep to lay
Together. Or I took her, to be blunt
The months passed, still not in the family way
I thought he’d be a brother to my own
The years passed, for the two of them and me
How easy it would be if he were known
The ghostly man between us she could see
Much easier to swing and hear the thwack
Each time I eased my hatred cross his back

- Copyright - Julia Smith - 2008

Painting - At River's Edge by Russ Docken

Monday, April 7, 2008

Poetry Train Monday - 44 - The Supplicant

Since I've currently got my mind wrapped around the story for the screenplay I'm working on, here's another backstory poem. This time we meet Kate, the mother of last week's poetry narrator.

It's the 1830's in northern New Brunswick. Kate was widowed at 23 when her husband, a stevedore, was crushed beneath a crate of textiles being offloaded from a merchant ship. She had a five-year-old son, so she remarried to ensure a home, food and clothing for him. She had no idea the man who took her for a wife could be so hard on her son.

In the twelve years they've been married, she has never grown heavy with child. Each year with no offspring of his own, her new husband is more and more cruel to her son. She spends all her energy stepping between the two of them before violence erupts, but she's not always successful.

The Supplicant

I call on Mother Mary
I call on her grace
She cried, did she not
As she gazed on His face?

I call the Holy Spirit
I call for Your strength
In the silence between blows
He hands out at length

I call on my son
I call him - beware
His mood's dark today
The fury gleams there

I call on my knees
I call with head bowed
In the distance I hear it
My son cries aloud

I call to be spared
I call without hope
Wish my rosary was not
Beads but a rope

Copyright - Julia Smith - 2008