Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile by Alice Jolly

Mary Ann Sate, Imbecile

Alice Jolly

Imbecile definition: a person who behaves in an extremely stupid way. By no means can Mary Ann be described as such. She is a strong child and a level-headed, caring and self-educated young woman. With no punctuation and an open verse, it is, initially, a difficult read. Do persevere. The more I read, the more fluid it became and I kind of 'found my feet'. Challenging read - yes. Interesting story - yes. A different time, a different life - yes.

Extract

Nay nay he say Come now Mary Ann
Take courage You are a strong girl
A good worker You may yet have life

As for the rest
The Lord take our mortal souls as He must
We go forth happy to meet Him

I am creasd with crying
yet he lays a hand soft on my shoulder

Say I hope when they write down my testimony
They will remember my soul always live free
Though my body chard always and sorely cagd

We all meet soon in a better place
So he say and pull from his neck
That kerchief he does oft wear
To wipe up my tears

All I can do is carry water wash clean change
Soon there are no more linen
The house reek so I try not to breathe deep
I sleep on the kitchen floor
Hold Fern in my arms

Parallels
  • If Only You Knew by Alice Jolly
  • Benediction by Kent Haruf