image borrowed from bing
“Each in his narrow cell forever laid, the rude
forefathers of the hamlet sleep.”--Thomas Gray
1(medium wide shot) the present; the Buck Family cemetery,
with Rod Buck standing near three gravestones.
2(sound cue) banjo & harmonica.
3(wide shot) the small burial plots girded by a freshly white-
washed picket fence, a tall ancient oak beside it, shading
the departed, Buck standing inside, the gate left open.
4(sound cue) Indian snake rattle.
5(medium close-up) a thick diamond back rattler squirming out
between pickets on the far side of the markers.
6(sound cue) a dog’s deep growl.
7(hold the medium close-up) as the black dog leaps into the frame,
clamping its jaws on the tail of the big snake.
8(sound cue) dog growling, snake hissing fading to flute.
9(cut to medium wide shot) as the dog whipped the snake up
into the air, jerking it back & forth, & then with a powerful dip
of its bear-like head, it snapped the snake like a bullwhip.
10(close-up) the rattlesnake’s head torn off.
11(sound cue) snare drum raps.
12(medium close-up) Buck laughing: good boy, Cheewa--disrespect
that damn snake--just don’t eat its head.
13(cut to separate medium close-up) the dog chewing on the fat
rattlesnake’s body; pieces of snakeskin hanging, white meat revealed.
14(sound cue) piano & clarinet & accordion.
15(cut to medium shot) Buck kneeling in front of three headstones, staring
at the one in the middle, marked as Sarah Elizabeth Buck.
16(close-up) a fruit jar filled with wildflowers, sporting a few day’s wilt, at
the stone’s base.
17(cut to medium wide-shot) fruit jars of flowers in front of all three head-
stones--William Tyler Buck on the right, Jackson Issac Buck on the left.
18(sound cue) a crow’s cawing.
19(medium close-up) a raven perched atop a rooster weather vane
at the peak of the barn roof.
20(cut to separate medium close-up) Buck removing his black hat.
21(extreme close-up) the rattlesnake head band.
22(medium wide-shot) Buck folding his legs beneath him, Indian-
23(close-up) his big knuckled hand resting on the top of his
24(cut to close-up) Buck’s face, with oak leaf shadows on his
whiskered cheeks, a breeze ruffling his mane; hello Ma,
25(insert sepia-toned photograph) Sarah holding young Roddy
on her lap, William with one of his arms around her shoulders,
the other stiffly behind his back.
26Buck: I came back; told you I would.
27(sound cue) guitar & violin.
28Buck: I’m tired of fighting blowsand & bedding down on buffalo
bones. Seen a lot of country, bet your ass I have, trapping in
French Canada, prospecting in the Yukon, ranching with the
vaqueros in old Mexico, standing in the surf-fishing in the Pacific
bear trap snap for Quebec,
rushing water over rocks for Yukon,
Spanish guitar for Mexico,
sea gull’s cry for the ocean.
30(cut to medium wide-shot on a crane) slowly pulling back from
the tiny cemetery.
31(narration voice-over) Buck: crossed this wide country as many
times as a man’s got fingers. had enough, seen enough; don’t
think I will leave again.
32( crane wide shot) pulling back to reveal the ranch sprawled out
behind the cemetery.
33(cut to close-up) swarm of orange-yellow-black butterflies rising
up from the flowers.
34(sound cue) harp chords.
35(return to crane shot) tracking back a bit faster.
36Buck: VO--this horse is gettin’ too old to slap leather with the kids,
just bone-weary, used up; need a sanctuary, a fortress.
37(cut to medium close-up) Buck’s face: odd, ain’t it, how comfortable
I am palavering with stones & lumps of dirt; maybe, in spirit, you’re all
still down there in that old house, or in here (his hand touching his
chest). I guess you’ll still be alive to me as long as I can remember you.
38(sound cue) a hawk’s whistle.
39(close-up) Buck’s eyes glancing skyward.
40(cut to medium close-up) Buck: and I have a long memory.
41(sound cue) buffalo herd hooves.
42(medium wide-shot) Buck rises slowly, stands tall, puts on his hat,
then spreads his arms wide.
43Buck: hey, you sons of bitches--I’m home.
Posted over on dVerse Poets OLN119
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