My sister was named Orleans
After the town where she was born,
Dear Orleans, my best friend,
A little girl with hazel eyes,
Dear Orleans, please don’t cry,
Hold my hand and stay with me,
And never say good bye.
My sister grew up beautiful
Like so many little girls do,
My sister Orleans, late one night,
Danced with a man named Lou.
Dear Orleans, please come home,
Mama and daddy and I
Are waiting here for you.
My sister never came home that night,
And daddy called the law,
Mama paced the floor till dawn
And wrung her hands till they were raw,
Dear Orleans, we waited till
The police came to our house
And told us what they saw.
My sister had been ravished bad
And left to die alone.
The man called Lou had fled the town
And by morning he was gone.
Dear Orleans, thank God you lived,
Though you’ll never be the same,
At least you’re safe at home.
My sister Orleans grew a life
Conceived through hate and fear;
We tried to hide it from the town
But soon it became clear.
Dear Orleans, hid her shame
As day by day she swelled
And the baby’s birth drew near.
My sister thrashed and cried in bed
On the day the sun was high;
She begged for mercy and release
Till we heard the infant cry
Dear Orleans, reached out for him
I wrapped him in a towel
And watched her baby die.
Caroline Misner's Other Poems
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