- New Orleans, November 1910
Four weeks have passed since I left, and still
I must write to you of no work. I've worn down
All week she's cleaned
someone else's house,
stared down her own face
in the shine of copper--
Here, she said, put this on your head.
She handed me a hat.
you 'bout as white as your dad,
and you gone stay like that.
Overhead, pelicans glide in threes—
their shadows across the sand
You can get there from here, though
there's no going home.
Here, the Mississippi carved its mud-dark path,
a graveyard for skeletons of sunken riverboats.
What's left is footage:
the hours before Camille,
We tell the story every year—
how we peered from the windows, shades drawn—
I am four in this photograph, standing
on a wide strip of Mississippi beach,