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


Amy Ruttan said...

Very cool. This sounds like an interesting screenplay.

Jill said...

That will teach me to skip visiting the Poetry Train for a week!
I want to know more! It seems really interesting plot! I can be your New-Brunswick consultant!
I was gonna ask you about Nim's island, but gonna go see the post below!

Ann said...

Very cool. Ever consider posting snippets of the screenplay?

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Ann - I've actually considered it, and I think I will.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I like that. It's a hard story, though. Doesn't it tear you apart to write about these people?

Karina said...! This was a really powerful piece Julia. Wow! I can't wait to see the movie when it's made! ;-)

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Susan - for some reason, all my characters are always going through something truly horrible. So I live in a constant state of ache for them. Weird but true.

Karina - at this point it's only in a screenplay stage. It's nowhere near being made into a film - but I'm trying to correct that. I did shoot a scene from it for my third year project at film school, so a version of part of it does exist.

Anonymous said...

You have got us hooked!

wicked witch

Akelamalu said...

Powerful words Julia, superb. x

Wylie Kinson said...

Oh - that was so heartwrenching, Julia!! That poor woman, that poor boy! I love the last line... though, a cast-iron frying pan would do the trick.

M. said...

very simple yet powerful. and the graphic is so apt.

Anonymous said...

sounds fascinating!

great strategy too--to write in a different mode as you develop a project!

Akelamalu said...

PS You have an award to collect m'deario.