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.


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

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

Our suggestions if you enjoyed The Mirror and the Light by Hilary Mantel

Everything Under

Daisy Johnson


Paul Harding

The Taste of Sorrow

Jude Morgan

The Angel of History

Bruno Arpaia

Sunset Oasis

Bahaa Taher

Painter of Silence

Georgina Harding

A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees

Clare Dudman

Three Day Road

Joseph Boyden

The Girl From the Garden

Parnaz Foroutan

Great House

Nicole Krauss