image borrowed from bing
“What we remember from childhood, we remember forever--
permanent ghosts, stamped, inked, imprinted, eternally seen.”
1(sound cue) harmonica & guitar.
2(medium wide-shot) the stranger sitting quietly on his roan
above the ranch.
3(cut to reverse-shot) stranger riding slowly away from the camera
along the road approaching the ranch.
4(traveling shot) the rider passing through the front gates, the dog
running on ahead of him.
5(medium close-up) the swinging sign, ANTLERED BUCK, with a large
set of elk horns nailed to the cross-tie above it.
6(sound cue) dog barking, cat screeching.
7(insert shot) the big dog chasing the black cat under the ranch house’s
8(sound cue) scratchy violin.
9(close-up) the stranger’s face, smiling.
10(cut to medium wide-shot) ranch house front porch, one railing &
two steps broken, two dusty wicker chairs on the porch, against the wall.
11(sound cue) harmonica & guitar.
12(cut back to medium wide-shot) the past--a young boy, two years old,
sitting on the top stair playing with a shaggy teddy bear--the child’s parents
in the chairs behind him, the mother knitting a red scarf, the father mending
a horse’s leather halter.
13(a close-up) the present--the stranger’s eyes, moist with remembrance.
14(sound cue) a child’s laughter.
15(medium wide-shot) a majestic old maple tree to one side of the house.
16(medium close-up) a rope swing hanging from a thick branch.
17(sound cue) young boy: Mama, look at me!
18(cut to medium wide-shot) the past--the boy, six years old, perched high
up in the maple tree, one hand grasping a branch, on the lookout for Indians
19(medium close-up) the mother, Sarah Buck, long brunette bangs hanging
on one side of her pretty face, a hand shielding her eyes as she looked up:
be careful, Roddy, hang on tight.
20(cut to wide-shot) the present--panning broken down fences, posts & poles
askance, sheds & bunkhouse in disrepair.
21(cut to medium wide shot) the past--the boy carrying two buckets, running
after his tall father, William Buck, heading toward the freshly-painted
red barn, sleek horses grazing in an adjacent corral, chickens scurrying
out of their way, late afternoon sun low in the sky, with cows complaining
in the barn.
22(sound cue) a woman’s scream.
23(medium framed shot) the present--a bedroom window on the second
floor with a dusty broken pane of glass.
24(cut to medium wide-shot) the past--the boy, 8 years old, standing in
the yard with his arm around a collie’s neck, both looking up at the
25(sound cue) cello bowing rapidly, kettle drums, and muffled screams
blended over the top of them.
26(overhead crane shot) camera moves past the boy and his dog, up
to & then into the open bedroom window.
27(medium wide-shot) interior of the bedroom, the mother is giving
birth, the father is standing alongside, holding one of her clenched
fists, an Indian woman is the mid-wife.
28(close-up) the mother’s face: oh Jesus, I can’t, I can’t.
29(close-up) the father: I’m here, sweetheart, I’m here.
30(close-up) the mid-wife, Bear Woman: you can do this,
Sarah, just push again, push.
31(fade to black)
32(sound cues) a terrible scream, a man moaning, a butt being
slapped, a newborn’s piercing cry....you have another son.
Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN116
Would you like to hear the author read this poem to you?