PIONEER WOMAN

by Debra Bruch


(The Woman enters with a bucket and towels. Her daughter just died. She addresses the audience.)


She be gone. (Pause.) She's gone. Ya hear me?

(Pause.) Cleaned her up some. Some. Washed her face. Her feet. Couldn't move her. She be peaceful-like. Can't take off her dress. Made that dress for her and can't take it off. Can't do it. You do it. You fix her.

(Pause.) Took me weeks to make that dress. An' you said -- you said I should stitch on little butterflies. You 'member them little butterflies was yer idear?

(Pause.) Yer idear an' I did it. She surely loved that dress with them little blue butterflies. I want ya t' take it off so's I can wash it. She'd like t' be buried in that dress. Take it off'n her, will ya?

Oh, she did love them little butterflies! She be chasin' 'em and singin' to 'em. I saw her do that today. She was chasin' a butterfly when she fell in. (Pause.) My little girl chased a butterfly today. An' now she be dead. Don't make sense t' me. Don't make no sense at all. Now she gotta be buried. Ya gotta bury her. Ya gotta bury her. Ya hear me?

(Pause.) Ya can't, can ya? Our little girl drowned, an' ya can't do nothin' about it. Ya jist sit there, ya jist sit there an' say nothin'. Ya do nothin'! Ya never do nothin'! I asked ya! I asked ya t' make it safe by the water but ya didn't do it! Ya didn't do it an' now my little girl's dead!

(Pause.) I'm sorry. Ya ain't got the strength, do ya? Don't wanna bury you, too. . . . I feel maybe like there's somethin' here . . . grievin' with us. I gotta learn . . . I gotta learn to let it be . . . to let my little girl be . . . happy . . . where she is. I gotta really . . . know . . . she ain't really dead. My little girl's still alive. She just ain't with us no more. She be with someone else. Someone who loves her.

(Pause.) I guess I gotta take off the dress an' wash it. I gotta go bury my little girl. (Exits.)



Copyright 1996 Debra Bruch


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