A Katrina Poem
Half a city is all you have without me and mine.
You say “Fine. Good riddance.
“You’re not welcome anywhere. We’ve asked around.
“No, you are not welcome in your hometown.
We’re moving on without you
Next time build your homes on higher ground.”
Half a city is all you have alone with you and yours
How are your profits with your half-city
Of half-drowned wards and half-empty stores?
“Lovely, lots of growth this fall.
We are bringing in a new kind of people
Hardworking. Helpful. Not like you at all.”
Half a city and two full shares of blame
There should be musicians in the street
Instead sirens and half-silence. What a shame.
Yes, she’s still Big Easy, loved and in good stead
With her soul cast in water
And her lost heart almost dead.
Me and mine will remember this tear-drowned time
Drown memories with laughter
With dance and song, red wine and sad rhyme
We’ll share beads, beds, embraces
And cry “Let the good times roll!”
With a proud flourish in our scattered new places
Yes. We have lost. Too much, too many, so dearly
And we miss you, who dwell in your half a city
So we ask from afar “Isn’t it nearly?”
“Time for Big Easy to once more be whole?”
Don’t do it for us; we know where we stand
Do it for you: Welcome back your soul.