PLAY #344: LOSS AND DAMAGE, A PLAY IN PIECES (DEC.4.2015)

Paris, COP 21, 2015.

Scenes can happen in different order.

 

[i]

 

An enormous greenhouse with a foam ‘#GOCOP21’ sign inside.

LEILANI (18; Samoan; female) is inside.

KHADIJA (40s; Iraqi; female; a ghost) is outside.

 

KHADIJA presses her hand against the glass.

LEILANI moves over, puts her hand against the glass over the same spot.

They stay in this position for a while.

 

[ii]

 

The greenhouse is empty.

KHADIJA is outside.

KHADIJA presses her face against the glass.

 

KHADIJA

Hello?

Hello?

Can anybody hear me?

Hello?

 

[iii]

 

LEILANI enters the tent and sets up a crate table.

She puts up a sign: ‘LOST AND FOUND.’

She puts a loudspeaker on the table, with a recording.

She turns it on.

 

LOUDSPEAKER

as with any UNFCCC event

there must be bureaucracy

forms to fill out

say if you have lost

a glove

or a scarf

perhaps your ticket to reclaim your coat

perhaps your reusable conference cup

or an island

or a tree

or a town

or a culture

you can describe the items you have lost

and fill out a form

and there will be a plan

to replace your glove

or cup

or island

and there will be strings attached

so that you find your new item responsibly

with some benefit to others

because it must be carelessness

all these lost things

you must be to blame.

 

LEILANI throws away the loudspeaker.

 

LEILANI

we [will not] [will] be lost

we [do not] [do] accept this

we will not be the lost generation

we will be compensated

for loss and damage

without strings.

 

[iv]

 

KHADIJA leans against the side of the glasshouse.

 

KHADIJA

Hello?

the Delegation of the Dead have come to speak

we may be invisible

but we will be heard

it is important

to consider history here

this is not a problem of the future

even as we shift to an agreement

where all countries agree to emissions cuts

we must not forget

who got us here.

we have the wisdom of the dead

we have the tiredness of the dead

we have the anger of the dead

we will not be forgotten.

 

KHADIJA stands, gets a can of paint.

KHADIJA starts to write the names of Iraqi victims of oil wars across the greenhouse in paint.

Painting, painting, painting.

 

[v]

 

KHADIJA paces outside the greenhouse.

KHADIHA picks up a can of paint and flings it through one of the panes.

The pane smashes.

 

[vi]

 

LEILANI stands inside the greenhouse by a broken window.

She carefully picks up the pieces of glass and puts them on a crate.

She starts to make a sculpture, glueing the glass to the side of the crate.

 

[vii]

 

KHADIJA is outside the greenhouse; LEILANI is inside.

 

KHADIJA

hello?

 

LEILANI

hello?

 

KHADIJA

sometimes I feel

 

LEILANI

so alone

 

KHADIJA

and overwhelmed

until

 

LEILANI

I remember

 

KHADIJA

everybody here alongside me

 

LEILANI

even if I can’t see them

if alphabets

 

KHADIJA

and continents

 

LEILANI

gape between us

 

KHADIJA

still

 

LEILANI

here they are

 

KHADIJA

calling.

 

[viii]

 

LEILANI starts to paint shards of glass on a crate.

 

LEILANI

I am making

a map of lost things

jagged edges

that pierce brackets

and spaces that smother over things

because some things

refuse to be drowned

we

refuse to drown

we fight.

 

LEILANI holds up the crate above her head and marches around the perimeter of the greenhouse.

 

[ix]

 

KHADIJA sits outside the greenhouse.

LEILANI is inside.

KHADIJA makes bomb sound effects.

LEILANI ducks.

For a while, they do this until KHADIJA starts to laugh, then to cry.

 

[x]

 

LOUDSPEAKER is on top of the greenhouse.

LEILANI is inside.

The top panes have been smashed open.

Hoses pour water, oil, and trash inside the greenhouse, filling it up.

LOUDSPEAKER moves from side to side, joyous.

Hoses stop.

 

LEILANI looks around.

 

LOUDSPEAKER

we will be happy to arrange a loan

to cover unfortunate damages that you have accrued.

 

LEILANI

But it’s your fault!

All this was you!

 

LOUDSPEAKER

it is difficult to trace a line between cause and damages

consider it our generosity

that we will provide loans for development

that ensure you will be better equipped

for future unfortunate events.

 

LEILANI

no more!

you must stop!

no more!

 

LEILANI shouts as the hoses start again, relentless, but not loud enough to silence LEILANI.

 

[xi]

 

KHADIJA and LEILANI sit beside each other, the glass of the greenhouse between them.

 

KHADIJA

my daughter was of an age to you.

 

LEILANI

is she here?

 

KHADIJA

I haven’t found her

though I’ve pushed my nails

into every corner.

 

Pause.

 

LEILANI

what was her name?

 

KHADIJA

Leila.

 

Pause.

 

LEILANI

A nice name.

 

KHADIJA

I don’t know.

I wish I had made her up a new name

one like a bulletproof vest

the name of one who can never die

invulnerable to bombs

free of the indignities

of a world where

that at the bottom of a barrel

carries more value than any ‘Leila.’

I wish she had a name beyond letters.

 

 

LEILANI

You should have called her ‘oil.’

 

KHADIJA

Ha.

Yes.

My next.

 

 

[xii]

 

KHADIJA sits on the roof of the greenhouse.

One of the top panes is smashed.

Through this, strings run down, attached to LOUDSPEAKER, which KHADIJA moves around like a marionette.

LEILANI watches inside the greenhouse, laughing.

 

LOUDSPEAKER

this is most unpleasant

 

KHADIJA

strings

I will show you what strings feel like.

 

LOUDSPEAKER

stop!

 

But KHADIJA continues.

 

[xiii]

 

KHADIJA and LEILANI sit beside each other, the wall of the greenhouse between them.

 

KHADIJA

there was a woman in my village

who could only speak in brackets

she must have swallowed them

once

and so they came up

painfully through a tube in her chest

and tumbled down onto stones

broken.

(beat.)

when she died

we had forgotten her name

so we just wrote

[       ]

 

[xiv]

 

LEILANI holds the LOUDSPEAKER and whispers into its open mouth.

 

LEILANI

what I would like to lose:

debt

and doubt

and measuring out life by inches

and the shadows of strings

stretched across a beach

and the coat of colonialism

that cosies around

and the days and days

spent staring at clocks

while talk spins round

in rooms that look like airports

I will not mind

losing the UNFCCC

and you

I would like to lose

you.

 

[xv]

 

KHADIJA and LEILANI sit side by side, the glass of the greenhouse between them.

 

LEILANI

because we have lost all time.

 

KHADIJA

what?

 

LEILANI

we have lost time.

 

KHADIJA

what?

 

LEILANI

time has been damaged.

 

KHADIJA

how?

 

LEILANI

there was a time

when birds told us things

when to grow

or sow

it was all written out

in the pathways of the birds

and now

they flap about confused

seasons are all sloppy

we do not know what time it is

because we have lost all time

 

KHADIJA

what?

 

LEILANI

we have lost time

 

KHADIJA

how?

 

LEILANI

there was a time…

 

And so it continues until time can be found for stopping.

 

[xvi]

 

KHADIJA presses her hand against the glass.

LEILANI moves over, puts her hand against the glass over the same spot.

They stay in this position for a while.

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PLAY #339: JET SET (NOV 29)

Washington D.C., 2009.

Georgetown University, a pond.

JAMES (late 20s; Chinese; male) sits on a bench, in a suit.

 

ISAIAH (20s; African-American; male) enters in a tattered military uniform and sits beside JAMES.

 

JAMES

Isaiah!

 

ISAIAH

You didn’t think I’d make the reunion?

 

JAMES

This is…

 

ISAIAH

I was always dead set on being here. Though I didn’t realize how dead set I’d be. You were the one who wasn’t sure if you’d be bothered traveling from China for some half-assed five-year thing where nobody’s changed enough to like them yet.

 

JAMES

Yeah. Guess you beat me on the distance.

 

ISAIAH

Sure did.

 

JAMES

I live here now, actually.

 

ISAIAH

This bench? I had you pegged for bigger things.

 

JAMES

D.C.

 

ISAIAH

Bet your Dad’s not too happy about that.

 

JAMES

Among other things.

 

ISAIAH

You told him?

 

JAMES

Yeah.

 

ISAIAH

Whoa! I wish I could drink to toast something.

 

JAMES

Me too.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You think they could have stumped up for a statue? All they got is some plaque for me shared with some other sap who was stupid enough to sign up. Not even a scholarship boy. He didn’t get the memo that rich folk aren’t supposed to die in this war.

 

JAMES

You were mentioned. Part of a speech.

 

ISAIAH

Who knew that all I had to was get blown up to make a name for myself around here? Still, at least I got myself a plaque. That’s more than Nick got.

 

JAMES

I guess suicide is not so marketable.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

Who all else is here?

 

JAMES

Not many people I actually want to talk to.

 

ISAIAH

Don’t tell me that all those power-interns are actually running the city now?

 

JAMES

Everything we feared has come to pass.

 

ISAIAH

The jet set have taken over.

 

JAMES

Just about.

 

ISAIAH

Well I got enough miles for all of us. First class ride back here, too: all class for corpses.

 

JAMES

Yeah.

 

ISAIAH

Yaya make it?

 

JAMES

She’s off working at some farm.

 

ISAIAH

Definitely not speech-material. Go mad into debt so that you can grow your own lettuce. However, the scholarship boy who could get himself blown up, that is a story worth spinning!

(beat.)

Any of the gay crew here?

 

JAMES

Not any you’d want to sleep with.

 

ISAIAH

Just as well. Not sure old Brandon would really be up for ghost kink.

 

JAMES

He’s working at the Capitol now, who knows what kink he gets into.

 

ISAIAH

You know where his office is at?

 

JAMES

You’re going to perv on him?

 

ISAIAH

Ghost’s got to have some fun. You seeing somebody?

 

JAMES

Yeah. Actually. An environmental activist.

 

ISAIAH

Your Dad must be really pissed.

 

JAMES

Yeah. He’s a drag queen too.

 

ISAIAH

From coal magnate to screaming queen?

 

JAMES

Josh! Delicious Drag-On.

 

ISAIAH

Sweet. Nice for you to have somebody you’re on the same page with.

 

JAMES

We still find things to fight about.

 

ISAIAH

Not like us though.

 

JAMES

No.

 

ISAIAH

He’s here?

 

JAMES

Not really his scene.

 

ISAIAH

Not ours either.

 

JAMES

No.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You were right.

 

JAMES

That’s no comfort.

 

ISAIAH

The war was bullshit.

 

JAMES

You remember the protests here? The pro-war group outnumbered us. You weren’t the only one here in support of the war.

 

ISAIAH

Only one here stupid enough to die for it. Or, one of two, not even unique in that.

(beat.)

You were right. Whole war was a dirty scramble for what’s beneath. Something we have no business in getting involved in.

(beat.)

They’re lucky I died. I’d be here too otherwise, setting fire to the plaque or the flag or the endowment or whatever I could ignite. Nothing I believe in now.

 

Pause.

 

JAMES

There’s always friendship. Or hope. Or revenge.

 

ISAIAH

Something.

 

JAMES

Streets are crammed with ghosts. That’s what I like to think in protests: streets are full of spirits on our side.

 

ISAIAH

People don’t believe in ghosts.

 

JAMES

Don’t believe in dragons either. But that’s no good to you when you’re faced with a mouth that’s aflame, is it?

 

ISAIAH

Guess not.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You should go. Mingle with the jet set.

 

JAMES

I’m happy enough here.

 

ISAIAH

On your own by this dumb pond?

 

JAMES

I always was a freak, right?

 

ISAIAH

Yeah.

 

They sit by the pond for some time before ISAIAH walks off, leaving JAMES on the bench, nothing to jet set off to.

PLAY #338: RUBBLE (NOV 28)

London, 2012.

ROSE (20s; Nigerian – Igbo; female) approaches QUEEN VICTORIA (a statue of QUEEN VICTORIA; 80s; white English; female).

ROSE has a water pistol outstretched.

At the edges of the stage: rubble.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

What on earth are you doing?

 

ROSE

A direct action.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

Put that thing down at once!

 

ROSE

I’m not your subject.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

I’m sure this is still an offence. Shooting a monarch: it won’t end well for you.

 

ROSE

I don’t have bullets. I don’t believe in violence.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

Then what are you doing with a revolver?

 

ROSE

It’s symbolic. You’re going to drown in oil.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

What are you on about? I have nothing to do with that substance. Is it not enough to be covered in pigeon shit? Why tar me so?

 

ROSE

Because you reigned over an era of mass industrial expansion and colonization. Because my country has been ripped apart by oil.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

Hardly my fault.

 

ROSE

Nigeria never existed until colonization: our boundaries were wars waiting to happen, no way all these different tribes should be squeezed into the same state. And all that uncertainty gets blown up once oil is involved.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

I gave away as much power as I could during my reign. I cannot be blamed.

 

ROSE

You’re a symbol. So you’re getting doused.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

This is barbaric.

 

ROSE

So is capitalism.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

You really want to blame me for that?

 

ROSE

I’d rather squirt oil everywhere. Pour it over the Olympic Tent. Into every museum lobby that’s sponsored by fossil fuel companies. Over half the statues of doddering grey guys who got rich off the plundering of poorer people of color.

(beat.)

But I’m not Bruce Willis. I’m just making a simple point. You’re beloved: this will do.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

I don’t see why you’re so upset over oil.

 

ROSE

Oil, coal, gas, take your pick – oil is the easiest thing to fit into a water pistol.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

I did think those coal-mines were dreadful for the young children.

 

ROSE

I’m not putting your conscience on trial. You’re not a person anymore. Symbols set in stone don’t have feelings.

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

Do it so. Cover me in black. That was my fashion after all.

(beat.)

I see the appeal. Bearing everything. The worst on display. There’s a certain honesty to that.

(beat.)

Well…

Before ROSE can do anything, it starts to rain oil.

Oil drizzles from the sky, covering ROSE and QUEEN VICTORIA.

 

ROSE

Did you do this?

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

I’m a statue. Not a god.

 

Pause.

 

ROSE

What’s happening?

 

QUEEN VICTORIA

That, my dear, is for you to discern.

 

ROSE looks up at the oil rain, which continues, as the lights fade.

PLAY #337: IGNITE (NOV 27)

Fallujah, 2004.

ISAIAH (20s; African-American; male) lies on the ground – an American soldier, he is covered in dust & wounded.

HELEN (late teens; African-American; female) enters wrapped in a huge, tattered American flag, which seems to have come from the 19th century.

 

ISAIAH

What’s happening?

 

HELEN

Try not to talk too much: it’ll be easier that way.

 

ISAIAH

Who are you?

 

HELEN

Name’s Helen.

 

ISAIAH

Are you an angel?

 

HELEN

Oh, I’ve had far too much fun for that.

 

ISAIAH

A dream, tell me you’re a dream.

 

HELEN

Plenty of folks have called me that. I’m not one to turn down a compliment.

 

ISAIAH

Tell me I’m not dying.

 

HELEN

I’ve been known to lie – some people say that’s all I am – but myself, I believe in brutal honesty. There’s a tenderness to brutality once you’re clear about it, don’t you think?

 

ISAIAH

I am dying.

 

HELEN

It’s not so bad. Try not to talk or think too much: it’ll make it easier.

 

ISAIAH

Fuck!

 

HELEN

Or if you are going to talk, come up with some better last words. You could try ‘Helen.’ Focus on me and you’ll be fine.

 

ISAIAH

Who are you?

 

HELEN

I’ve told you: Helen. You can call me something else if you want. The name of a sweetheart. Or a sweet guy, I’m not fussed. Wrap whatever noun you want around me: Jamie. Billy. Freedom. Revenge.

 

ISAIAH

James was right. I should never have come here.

 

HELEN

Thinking is especially ill-advised.

 

ISAIAH

A phony war for a phony President. I should never have got involved in all of this.

 

HELEN

Focus on me: you’ll feel better.

 

ISAIAH

Whole war’s just another fucked up way to kill brothers.

 

HELEN

I’m the thing that makes all this horribleness acceptable. Look up at me and see that there is something worth fighting for, something worth dying for, and it’s something higher and elevated – that’s how I fancy myself now – not something down and dirty. Let your death be glorious and golden-

 

Sound of gunfire.

An explosion.

A geyser of oil erupts from the ground, drenching HELEN, the flag, and ISAIAH.

After the oil and gunfire has stopped, ISAIAH is dead.

HELEN shakes herself out, sits down beside ISAIAH.

 

 

PLAY #336: SCENE: THE GOOD BYE (NOVEMBER 26)

London, 2013.

Heathrow Airport.

SARASWATI (late 20s; Indian, Bengali; female) sits, waiting.

 

ROSE (mid 20s; Nigerian, Igbo; female) walks in with a backpack on.

 

SARASWATI stands.

 

ROSE

Hi.

 

SARASWATI

Hi.

 

ROSE

Is this the scene where you try and convince me to stay?

 

SARASWATI

I know that won’t work.

 

ROSE

True.

 

SARASWATI

But I didn’t like how it ended.

 

ROSE

Me neither.

 

Pause.

 

SARASWATI

You want to get a coffee?

 

ROSE

I don’t know if I have time.

 

SARASWATI

Or a drink. Just a shot of something.

 

ROSE

It took me longer than I thought to pack-

 

SARASWATI

No surprises.

 

ROSE

I can manage without you, you know. Did it for many years.

 

SARASWATI

I know. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean…

 

Pause.

 

ROSE

I should get going. You know how much hassle they give me going through security.

 

SARASWATI

Five minutes. It’s already delayed. And you know they’ll just rush you through if there’s a queue.

 

ROSE

Okay.

 

They sit.

SARASWATI offers some chocolate.

 

SARASWATI

Your last Giant Button?

 

ROSE

I’m not going to Antarctica. They do have sweets in Alaska.

 

SARASWATI

They probably have gargantuan Buttons.

 

ROSE

Probably have buttons the size of this bag.

 

SARASWATI

Covered in peanut butter and all sorts of terrible things.

 

ROSE

Probably.

 

ROSE eats some chocolate.

SARASWATI fishes in her bag and pulls out a bright hat.

 

SARASWATI

I made this for you.

 

ROSE

Wow.

 

SARASWATI

It’s not quite finished but…

 

ROSE

It’s beautiful.

 

SARASWATI

You can unravel it and attach it to some derrick if you want.

 

ROSE

I love it.

 

ROSE puts the hat on.

 

SARASWATI

It’s too small.

 

ROSE

It’s great. This is what you were working on?

 

SARASWATI

You know me. Any excuse to avoid the dissertation.

 

ROSE

You can join the Radical Knitters.

 

SARASWATI

I’ve Sappho’s ear-muffs to finish first.

 

ROSE

How are they?

 

SARASWATI

Good. Except that Rumi misses you terribly. She’s peeing everywhere.

 

ROSE

Bitch does not miss me: she did that when we started dating, remember?

 

SARASWATI

She was marking her territory.

 

ROSE

And now she’s reclaiming it.

 

Pause.

 

SARASWATI

She’s in mourning.

 

ROSE

Cats don’t mourn.

 

SARASWATI

If elephants can, I don’t see why cats can’t.

 

ROSE

Cats are the cockroaches of pets: nothing’s going to keep them down.

 

SARASWATI

You can see why she’s upset you’re leaving.

 

ROSE

I’ll send them a postcard. Different surface to pee on.

 

SARASWATI

Lovely.

 

Pause.

 

ROSE

Thanks for the hat. It’s really…

 

SARASWATI

You’re welcome.

 

ROSE

I’m sorry about everything I said.

 

SARASWATI

Me too.

 

ROSE

I didn’t mean to dismiss what you’re doing.

 

SARASWATI

I know.

(beat.)

And I didn’t mean to dismiss what you’re doing. I know why you’re going.

 

ROSE

Why I think I have to go?

 

Pause.

 

SARASWATI

I didn’t come here for a fight.

 

ROSE

What did you come for?

 

SARASWATI

A quickie?

(beat.)

I needed to see you.

 

ROSE

This isn’t the scene where you convince me to turn back. You have to at least buy a fake plane ticket for that.

 

SARASWATI

No. This is the scene where we both display how much we’ve learnt in Britain and say ‘cheerio’ and ‘toodlepip’ and ‘I hope you beat that iceberg’ and ‘I’m sure this whole caper will work out splendidly.’

 

ROSE takes off the hat.

 

ROSE

I did pack a hat, you know. I’m not completely clueless.

 

SARASWATI

Once you’re warm, everything else should sort itself out.

 

ROSE

You’ve never taken this mission seriously.

 

SARASWATI

Since when did protests become missions?

 

ROSE

We’re not just holding up cardboard signs at oil rigs. We’re going to do something.

 

SARASWATI

Like get thrown in jail?

 

ROSE

We’re not the Arctic 30.

 

SARASWATI

No, you’re much less organized.

 

ROSE

I’m tired of having this argument. You know why I’m going. You can call me stupid and selfish and stubborn and whatever else you want, but I’m not giving up.

 

ROSE stands.

 

SARASWATI

I don’t think you’re stupid. Or selfish.

 

ROSE

That’s not what you said.

 

SARASWATI

Maybe this is the scene where I apologize.

 

ROSE

You’re not very good at it.

 

SARASWATI

No.

 

ROSE sits.

 

ROSE

I’m glad you came. It’s good to see you.

(beat.)

And I respect what you do. I shouldn’t have said that about your dissertation.

 

SARASWATI

It’s true. Nobody’s going to read it.

 

ROSE

At least you’re thinking about climate change.

 

SARASWATI

We can’t all be Antigone.

 

ROSE

And I like that story about the dinosaurs.

 

SARASWATI

Pterodactyls aren’t even dinosaurs. Who’s going to read an article about a story that’s got some B-list prehistoric creatures in it? I’d be better off knitting full time. At least the radical knitters make barricades more colorful.

 

ROSE

Stop. I don’t need you to be tied together beside me to a barricade, that’s never what this was about.

 

SARASWATI

No. Geography. That’s all there is to it. A rather mundane foe in the end.

(beat.)

I don’t think what you’re doing is stupid.

 

ROSE

Thank you.

 

ROSE holds SARASWATI’s hand.

Pause.

 

SARASWATI

This is the scene where you leave?

 

ROSE

Soon.

 

Not yet, though, so ROSE and SARASWATI stay on the cheap plastic chairs, the holding of hands turning into the resting of heads on shoulders, the sound of planes taking off all around them.

PLAY #319: WRAP UP (NOV 7)

Two people: AY and ZED.

ZED is tying string around a pipe, blocking its mouth.

AY watches.

 

AY

So that’s it: veto to Keystone?

 

ZED

Seems like it.

 

AY

They’ll find another way to use the oil. Not like there can’t be another pipe.

 

ZED

That’s true.

 

AY

And there’ll still be gas exploration in the USA. Not like Obama is against all fossil fuels.

 

ZED

True too.

 

AY

But?

 

ZED

It’s a symbol.

 

AY

That all it is?

 

ZED

Even if it is, that’s enough. It’s a win. And that’s-

 

AY

Something to write home about?

 

ZED

Exactly.

 

ZED holds up pipe like it is a paper plane, throws it away.

AY and ZED watch it fall.

PLAY #301: LOSING (OCT 20)

A tent in the desert, continued from PLAY #300, perhaps.

HENRY is bleeding out on the floor.

Lots of rose-bushes scattered around the tent, all thorns, no petals.

MARGARET stands, clothes quite tattered.

From outside the tent, the sound of bombs and gunfire, the occasional streak of light.

 

MARGARET holds up shears against the roses, defensively.

She looks at HENRY’s body, blood pooling towards her shoes.

She starts to laugh.

 

MARGARET

To lose one family member is tragic

To lose two?

That must be careless

And to lose them all?

Stuff of comedy, no?

Oh, Henry, dear, you can’t even die quickly.

 

MARGARET pours herself a whisky.

 

It’s all the rage

Losing

Fathers losing sons

And sons losing fathers

Everybody poking round in the lost and found up above

Because all their family is missing

People must lose daughters too

But there’s no data about that.

 

You would have been a good father to a daughter, Henry

I don’t deny you that

A daughter could have loved to dandle on your knee

And store up all your kind words and silly nicknames

You would have excelled at that.

 

I’ll bury you

Don’t worry about that

I won’t let the ground resist

It can spit out stones and throw spikes towards me

Can protest all it wants against all its digging up

But I will bury my husband

I won’t let these things crawl over you

I love you

In some way.

 

MARGARET goes over to HENRY, kisses him.

No response – he’s definitely dead now.

MARGARET turns to the roses.

 

You won’t win.

Somebody will come who has the strength to hack at you.

A man with a chest like rocks

A name like iron

Somebody will impose order again.

There will be pruning

And control

And riches dug up from the bowels of the earth and sprayed to the Heavens

just for the revenge of it

yes

the ground will be burnt dry

as punishment for this revolt.

 

MARGARET sits down, tired.

 

Don’t worry

it won’t be me

I haven’t the energy to do all that.

Some man

Some men

They’ll come and put things to right

Until the next group comes and puts them to right

But don’t worry about the names

What matters is that there is an order to things

Where we come out on top.

 

Don’t even think about crawling towards him

I know what you things do in the dark

And I can tell you

Widow to weed

It’s not worth your while.

 

MARGARET listens to the sounds of war.

A bright streak of light in the distance.

 

Somebody will be here soon

He’ll dispense receipts

For everything that has been lost

There is an order to these matters

That cannot be compromised.

 

MARGARET sits and waits, watching the roses, listening to the war in the distance.