SABINE RIVER by Sissy Boyd

(man and woman, who may also be the mother.)

M

I followed her down the corridor.  where it was narrow she careened and stumbled.  where the corridor was wide she stiffened.  the wide walls kept her fighting to stand.  and between the close walls she let herself go.

W

how old is she?  did she turn when you called?

M

she froze.  (pause.)  she’s old.

W

you wanted to see her face.

M

yes, and I wanted to see her turn.

W

and did she?

M

slightly.

W

was it beautiful?

M

she’s old.  she was trembling.  (pause.) but yes.

W

her children are dead.

M

she always said she didn’t love them enough.

W

do you think that’s true?

M

there are stories.  she tried to lose them when they were little.  in a taxi, at an amusement park, in the ocean more than once.  she tried to leave them in a taxi in the city.  and at a theme park, but they clung to a guard until they saw her.  as they grew she took them along.  the daughter was beautiful, the brother was sweet.  they were graceful. (pause.) I hear.

W

she wasn’t wretched?

M

no.  they swept along.  she seemed serene.

W

but the children are dead.  dead?

M

it may be that she was relieved.

(pause.)

W

she’s old.  her beauty’s gone.  she never cared.

M

you said she never cared about that.

M

there’s no proof of anything.  a boat and some blankets.  did she drown them?  some people say they drowned themselves to protect their mother.  I saw them all once stopped in a clump.  the children were staring at the back of her head.  would she turn and look at them, something?  (pause.)  didn’t love them enough?  they were all more and more inseparable.  it can be a horror, what happens between children and mothers.

W

what did she think of herself?  why couldn’t she let things be, send them away.  to their father.  she wasn’t insane, not at all.  she was bound to them, but not in the way you think you know.

(pause.)

W (con’t.)

I remember, she tried to lose them.  she was waiting.  but she wasn’t insane.

M

the boatman was questioned. he remembers their agility. the mother asked,

W

is this the Sabine River? a beautiful name. my daughter’s name is Sabina. and this is my son.

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