Friday, October 10, 2003

Filming the Boys of Company H

The dress was 36-27-36
mint green with a fringe
came with a purse and gloves
custom ordered for me
part time actress, writer, poet.

The movie, set in the 40's
the scene, an old train station
in a small town,
my old stomping ground
Show up by ten p.m. they said.

Be prepared, they warned me
May film well into the night
I took a deep breath
and a heavy sigh,
wondering what lay ahead.

The night of the shoot arrived
I hooked up with Terry,
a neighbor I've just met
I rode, she drove
twenty-five minutes to the set.

I see it, well lit at night
the old train station
a sight I've known so long
I recall a train ride
The memory is strong.

Now it's a museum
filled with antique trains
old timey candy,
Nostalgic thoughts are with me
If just a little while

We wait an hour,
maybe more
Finally the costumes arrive
we anxiously peruse boxes
checking for our size.

Slipping into our garb
time for makeup and hair
time to leave the present behind
and step into the past
into that 1940's looking glass

I adopt the persona
leave my playful self behind
as lock after lock
is pinned to my head
in a look that is not me.

But a woman from the 40's
meeting soldiers from a train
that's come home from the war
bearing scars and wounds
and things that break my heart.

A window on a rail
with a camera moves
as billows of smoke curl
the view, a welcoming crew
made up of women and a girl.

Hearts fluttering,
flags waving,
we'd smile and cheer
just as the train drew near...
excitement in the air.

The train stopped
the smoke cleared
and everyone there switched gears
soldiers, wounded,
are missing limbs.

How did we act?
Our flags drooped,
the band stopped playing
even a nearby dog paused
and turned to look.

In hushed breath,
I gazed at the faces
of two soldiers,
one missing an arm
the other missing a leg.

Wondered to myself how
they are feeling now
in the scene we've shot.
And five days past
The feeling that lasts...

Is this desire to hug
both young men
who found it within
to act in this film
in a part that's so real.

How did our backwards glance
and look of sorrow
really touch their souls
even though just a role
how did it feel.........

Copyright 2003 by Phyllis Johnson.
All rights reserved.
Reproduced by Poetry 360 with permission of the author.

No comments: