a meeting of generations...meant to be a screenplay....better at poetry...
|Women at the Well
Hands that are cradled,
Forming a well;
Catching your tears as they fall.
Precious with sorrow
Tears are presented to God for prayer and blessing by
Hands that are rough like a mason, from hard work;
Or soft like a babies face from pampering and ease…
Or any condition in between.
All with one purpose.
To catch those tears
So not one drop
Precious drops and precious hands that catch them.
Katherine was always called Katie, and she was born
Hard and tiny
she had to work to live.
Her first few birthdays were a surprise, a funeral was more likely.
She grew up with cold bare feet that carried a dragons heart.
Little feet that never stopped to rest,
Sometimes blistered from her journey.
“Work hard and work will come, and time later to play”
Scarred and calloused hands later bent with time and pain.
Always gentle to the face of a child, but quick to snap attention.
Maggie never forgot.
Seeing her own hands and the newness of her blisters she remembered
How being reckless when she was young had helped her slip away.
“Play hard and dance lively
So work will never bury you”
Playing left her broken.
It was Katie’s hands that caught her tears.
It was Katie that called her home.
In the city Maggie used to buy expensive fragrance.
It made her cheap.
Now she laughs with a little wisdom.
Maggie knows what it is to regret.
Her wisdom was not free.
It was priceless.
Rita leans on Maggie’s shoulder
Katie is so soon gone.
Rita is swollen.
Her firstborn is growing in her womb, she can tell it is a girl.
Her hands are resting on her belly, but her mind is in the yesterdays.
Katie’s very busy hands always found time to tweak her nose causing it to wrinkle.
Every time her nose itches,
She knows Katie is still near.
Maggie reaches over and catches Rita’s tear.
She holds it up and whispers
Rita blows a kiss toward heaven and tells her about Scarlett.
Soon to be born
This child will have passion
Like the color she is called.
When she cries
Maggie or Rita will catch her tears
Unless Katie’s hand reaches them first.
Rose walks in silence
Knowing no one understands her words.
She has watched for many years, and now speaks in her mind:
I see the young one,
And I see the one that was gone so long.
I still don’t see the old one.
Twice now I have not seen her.
She never missed before:
Even when the young one was just a tiny thing,
Barely walking, she brought her every day.
At first all three came together.
You could tell that there was anger.
The old one and her daughter?
Didn’t always walk together.
I guess it is her daughter.
That one always walked ahead
Nose in the air.
Stomped her feet.
Kind of trouble that one.
Then she didn’t come no more
For a long, long time.
I thought maybe she got sick or died,
But since she came back I guess it was just
Her stomping feet carried her off somewhere.
The other two kept coming.
One very old and one very young
The only time I saw that old one do anything but carry what she held and walk,
She stopped, bent down, picked up that little girl,
And swung her around and around and around.
Made me dizzy just watching.
The little girl just laughed.
One time before the middle one left
We were all there at the same time.
The trouble one was crying.
We didn’t speak.
I gave her my rag to wipe her eyes.
I was afraid she call me dirty, one word that I know.
I have cried some too.
I never had a daughter, or a son.
She kept the rag…
The little girl is grown.
She is going to have a baby.
Trouble does not stomp these days,
But her feet are still real quick.
The old one. Where is the old one now?
I have never been here this time of day.
We always came real early.
Even the foreign woman has come and gone.
She is either foreign or mute.
Katie said we are all foreign somewhere.
I still have her hanky, from the time she caught me crying.
I felt so naked but I couldn’t help it.
I was just a bunch of pieces coming all apart.
Her eyes looked like she had cried too.
Right now I feel foreign…being here.
Without Katie or Rita.
Katie won’t come again unless she never left here.
Rita is home with the baby.
Maybe I’m the ghost.
I am so used to the three of us.
Even when I come with Rita,
My ears expect the sound of Katie’s feet.
It is not there.
Just nothing…like something suddenly gone from your favorite song.
I hope Katie wherever you are
You don’t work no more.
You worked so hard at living, and then at growing old.
I don’t mind working now,
But I still have to play some.
Dance a little.
Old will have to chase me down
I’m not chasing it.
I keep crying Katie.
I miss you.
I didn’t know who you were until I came back to you and Rita.
“I’ll keep Rita till you come home” you said.
I was sure I never would.
Rita is like you some, she has a little hardness.
She is also soft enough to dream a bit, but it doesn’t get in her way.
I wish I had never screamed at you.
I get sick when I remember.
I am more ashamed of the screaming than I am at being gone so long.
I am sorry.
Do you know that I love you?
Katie please stay near.
Some of God’s other daughters walked here times before.
Their names are no longer known,
But they are as sure as water is sought.
No single tear has ever been lost,
Not one sorrow will last forever.
The tears of all these women mingle and are sprinkled on the dusty earth,
And every next generation is provided a path to the well,
Where they not only draw water, but those necessary things,
Like mercy and kindness and hope and joy, and eventually learn
How the spirit heals from harsh words or
Is a bridge for those never spoken.