My little Ilse. So strong and fierce, ready to defend…I'm sorry I died and left. I was never as brave as you. I couldn't hold on, even for the wailing babe you were that the midwife held. The pain was too great for me, my child. I thought to leave you with your father and a stepmother. I was stupid, Ilse, and there's no forgiveness for that. I grew up sheltered and safe from the world like you never were. I knew no one that had ever died, I was never slapped. Alcohol was as foreign as english to me.

Ignorance is bliss, Ilse, a happiness I always knew and you would never. You know too much, about what pain does to people. Not physical pain either, but the loss and sadness and grief—it killed your father more than childbirth did to me. And knowledge has a bitter taste.



I remember catching him with matches when he was five years old—I snatched them up and smacked him him the back of my hand. I warned him then, "Children who play with matches get their fingers burned!" He listened to me, and why not with the physical reminder in the shape of a dark handprint and the mental memory of his mother shouting for the first time.

Since then, I never caught him playing with fire again—figuratively or literally. When Hanschen was caught trying to sneak glances up the girls's skirts, Otto spoke scornfully of the incident to me later, satisfied that Hanschen was forced to write apologies to the girls.

Years later now, I wish I hadn't stopped Otto from burning himself. He might have learned to make his own mistakes and grow from them, instead of standing by without a hose as the world burns away.



It seems cruel not to trust your child, but I can't. Hanschen always finished his homework and chores; he knew his lessons well and always used his manners. But even as a child, I could never quite expect anything of him.

There was the time that Frau Bergmann dragged Hanschen home by his ear, claiming that he tried to look up her Wendla's skirt. And again, little Anna came home crying that Hanschen stole her basket of flowers she had gone to pick. Hanschen had been sent out to apologize and to repick the flowers on those occassions but something about the smirk warned her, stay wary.

And now, he comes home claiming he stayed at school because Ernst asked for help in geography—but his hair and clothes are so mussed and his lips seem almost swollen that she worries about the girls in town more than her son.



I am not blind or deaf, Martha. I hear screams and tears as long as the night smells of drink. I can see for myself the bruises and the ugly welts. I'm not the one who struck you with that belt but I didn't stand before you either.

Mothers are to love their children, and fathers are supposed to be stern with them; but it is the opposite with our little family, Martha. Your father loves you, night after night while I sleep alone in bed and hate you.

I hate that he pays more attention to you than me, even when attention means beatings. I hate how he gets more pleasure out of your cries than he does out of me. I hate that you don't try to stop him. And I hate most of all that I cannot love my own daughter because my husband doesn't love me.



Your father wanted you to be a man. He insisted that, from the day you were born. But I didn't want you to be a man, even then. I just wanted my little boy who plucked forget-me-nots.

School was the beginning of the end. Since that day you trudged off to school, I lost that child who followed me around all day. Instead, there was a studious boy, intent on his

verbs and arithmetic at my kitchen table who struggled with the subjects.

You grew older and the world grew harder. How I longed to clasp you in my arms, but your father became even sterner. You were as tall as him now and so you should be almost as much as a man as he was.

But you never did, his expectations always fell too short. And now the shadow cast by your grave is too long to measure.



I was proud of my son when we discovered how he could play the piano. With such quick and slender fingers! Dreams of Mozart came to mind when I hired the teacher. He started playing when six and he played for two hours everyday save Sunday and then I'd insist he pratice for an hour after church.

Years later, my son can play as well as his teacher and he still pratices daily. But I hear less and less played as the days go by even with his instructor. Perhaps he needs more encouragement to continue, I think. Then at church, I find his muse. It comes in the form of little Anna, grown tall and her voice grown sweet.

I invite Anna to come home with us to listen to Georg play. Sure enough, I hear the piano play on once more for us, with sweet soprano harmonizing along.



At first, it seemed my child was the worst of all the children in Sunday School. Thea wasn't kind to others like Wendla, she wasn't as clever as Melchoir nor sensitive like Moritz. Thea's not gifted at music such as Georg or like gentle Anna, as quiet as Martha Bessel neither imaginative as Ilse. She's not proper like Hanschen or diligent as Ernest.

But once the years stripped away innocence that hid the darker years ahead; I came to appreciate Thea. She was blessed by God as a virgin (unlike Wendla) and knew suicide wasn't an option (unlike Moritz). I never resorted to reformatory like the Gabors nor did she run away from home as Ilse did. No rumors floated about her like those of Hanschen and Ernest because she was never did anything with anyone.

If anything, Sunday School taught my Thea what God, our Father would approve of.



Was I so wrong? How else could this have happened? I trusted you more than your teachers, doctors and far more than the priest or your father. He was a trusting man, your father, to leave you to me and my judgement like that but did you need him too?

I had my reasons. My father raised me to recite the bible by heart and never question God or my father. I was raised stricter than a general to his soldiers and loathed it; to be obedient in body, mind and soul. I ran away at eighteen and married a milder man and when I had you, I swore to let you think for yourself. I thought if I knew better for myself, so would you. Was I wrong? Was my father right?

I let you do what you pleased. But neither of us can say we're sorry now, Melchior.



My boy always did what he was asked to. I'd need help finishing the laundry and he'd be there to scrub or fold. A cow would be birthing and he'd patiently pull out the calf. His father would want another hand to help and Ernst would offer both.

Ernst stayed up late to study for a latin test tomorrow. Ernst helped Georg learn his lesson that day he was too sick to come. Ernst brought flowers in for his mother and he carried home Thea's lunch after she left it at the schoolhouse. He memorized bible scriptures, passed school, played with the other children, obeyed his mother and father, went to church on Sunday. Ernst was baptized and received communion, gone to Sunday School, and was on his knees praying every night.

So, really, what could make him less than the perfect example of a child of God he was?



To Anna, the fairytales I told her were half make-believe because they weren't what was happening then and half very real to her because they did happen to someone else.

She'd plead the children to play with her and the days they didn't want to play house or pirates; they conceeded. Wendla took the princess, as she fled the villians played by Ilse. Ilse played the roles that frightened me. Thea insisted on the fairy godmother and Martha would resign herself being Wendla's Prince, bringing a happily ever after. But Anna would take on the part of the mother. Often dead; she was never part of the action.

I was glad she was never part of the stories. In the end, the princess never awoke, the villian was scared off, the godmother forgot her magic, the prince was lost but Anna knew that stories were meant to happen to others.



I raised you like my mother did me and I to Ina. We were good girls, married well and are fine mothers. Or I was. Why did my baby get a baby? Ina and I didn't know. Why do you know? Will my granddaughter, Ina's daughter, your niece know someday too? Will her sons pull some innocent girl into a hayloft, never realizing their sins? How did you not know that what you were doing was wrong when you were so right?

You were mature in appearance perhaps, but at heart you were still so innocent, a blessed child. Why didn't God bless you to stay that way always, Wendla? You were so good, wanting to take away other's troubles like His son, Jesus.

It was the horrid boy's fault, pulling an innocent girl into a hayloft and doing such wickedness! But don't worry baby, Mommy won't fail you now…



Baby? My Mommy still calls me 'baby' and I'm barely done with childhood. I'm not sure how two people who don't know what love is could create someone who wants them to love it, but I do. I love you my baby.

Ilse ran away from her hellish home. Martha gets beaten every night by her parents. Moritz's dead now because of school. And Melchior was sent away far away because of what he knew. I couldn't take care of them, no matter how hard I tried. But don't worry, baby, I'll take care of you.

Baby? I feel something wet on my legs and I'm screaming. I can't feel you anymore, you fell away from me. I'm going to find you, baby.

I'm falling away now too; I hear Mommy screaming but I've got to find you because I'm never going to let anyone take you away from me.

My name is RedCloakedMaiden and I admit to having never unfortunately seeing the show on Broadway or tour. I also do not own Spring Awakening: In the Flesh or a copy of the script. I do however own a copy of the play and the cd so any facts I misconstrue are entirely my fault and I beg you to allow me my artistic liscence when it came to the characters.