I began this poem three weeks ago from the word prompts amaze, frail and sacred on Three Word Wednesday but I was unable to complete it. I just couldn’t get the feelings about my chosen subject to settle into coherence until last night.
Yesterday, I was contacted by an internet friend who let me know she’s giving her dissertation , Writing to Re(New) Orleans: The Post-Hurricane Katrina Blogosphere & Its Ability To Inspire Recovery, on March 26. Part of her research was interviewing New Orleans bloggers who wrote about their lives and struggles post-Katrina and I was one of those bloggers. Her news prompted me to go back and re-read some of what I wrote back then – stuff I had totally forgotten about or blocked from my mind – which led me to re-read the 2005 archives of other New Orleans bloggers too. Later in the day I read a few posts by my fellow NoLA bloggers about the up-coming premiere of David Simon’s Treme on HBO – about how much we all hope that, finally, someone might get it all right. Anyway, when I got in bed last night to read my book, I found the scribbles I’d begun on this poem tucked between the pages. So I finished it.


(Photo by anthonyturducken)


in that house red beans & rice
cooked every Monday for four
generations until the water
washed it away.

it floated down Forgotten Street,
clapboards splintering like frail old
bones in the jaws of the beast.

The land where it stood’s going on
five years empty now, sacred ground
bleached with the salt of bitter tears
but… still loved with a fierceness that
would amaze the unbaptized.

14 thoughts on “Disparity

  1. Wonderful, wonderful! (The photo is chilling, and yet…) I do understand and so much appreciate your poem and the sentiment expressed! They say, life is as it is (and not ours to say) yet our response, that is precisely why and what we are here to realize. Your poem speaks to that with beautiful clarity!

    There’s a book I’m reading, Terry Tempest Williams, “Finding Beauty in a Broken World”, that very much applies also to New Orleans I think. (Don’t mean be selling books, but this woman, this book is exceptional.) Thank you for this bright poem Zouxzoux!


    1. It means a lot to me to hear another survivor validate this writing. We belong to a sad club, don’t we? But the old saying is so true…what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. 🙂


  2. Just the beginning of this speaks volumes:

    in that house red beans & rice
    cooked every Monday for four
    generations until the water
    washed it away.

    Nice play on words in the title, too.


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