Saturday, February 17, 2007

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Empty House


Each time I went back to see Belle’s house after she died,

I always found something significant to her memory

I found that others had been there, and the beds

were tumbled and rumpled, then gone

One dresser was marked with adhesive tape

and someone had written in schoolteacher script, Eloise.

Now who was that, I thought, it was Aunt Bunchie,

dead before her mother was, and so the dresser

was for my cousin. I found the little bobble-headed

Chinese children with magnets in their lips

a provocative plaster mammy notepad holder

Grannie’s seasoned pie pans, her crockery mixing bowls

Monday, February 5, 2007

Dragon Boats

When you look at clouds
& see something
not a cloud
you are seeing
what is really
on your mind
when you tell
someone &
they see it, too,
exactly what
does that mean?

Friday, February 2, 2007

A True Story


That summer Gramma Belle, ma belle grand-mère
communing with the fireflies,
enfolded in the heat, dusty gardenias, cashmere bouquet
heliotrope, lilies, citronella candle, cotton blooms,

told me of the time when she and Aunt Maddie
sat together on the wagon seat, holding hands,
two rosebuds, one pink and one pale yellow,
in their Montgomery Ward silk dresses,
Gibson girl chignons,
like two geisha hopefuls.

Grandpa Purvis chucked the horses to a trot,
humming into his red beard, “Sweet Adeline.”
as they drove over to the Winnsboro Ladies’ Tea-Dance.

Then how they sat together,
legs swinging under the barren pew
while the Philistine preacher castigated them for pride,
his vitriol left sparks that rainbowed in Maddie’s hair
and Belle had all but snickered at the sight.

How they laughed over his red face and clumsy hands
gesticulating, and how they from that day kept joyous Sundays
at Home.

How grand-père Jean Hardin came to visit
and his horses trampled the strawberries so flat
that Grandma Purvis never forgave him,
even though he lived under her roof,
until her deathbed, where she grandly forgave
everyone, everything, and left this world smiling.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Letter from Gracie


Last words from Atlantis: Glub, Glub

Well, yes, I have just discovered that there exists such a thing

as the Louisiana Tumor Registry. As I searched

for the number of the Registrar to locate my tardy

paperwork, there it was. I could just punch in a number

and talk to a person who sat and archived state tumors.

The possibilities! Sooooooo, that led me to ponder

why my home state has a tumor registry.

I mean, isn’t it bad enough that the Cajun Riviera,

the shrimp, crab, and oyster haven for the country,

not to mention the cloaca of the entire Mississippi River Valley

and beyond, as far as Saskatchewan and the Catskills,

is dissolving

into the Gulf of Mexico

a football field’s worth every 45 minutes!*

So now we have a tumor registry, too?

Am I the only one to find all this extremely alarming?

Last week the nice giraffe and one of the threadbare

ostriches at the sad local zoo plunged mutely

into a great sinkhole that filled with water,

and they drowned.

Now, that is tragic,

and do not think for one minute

that I feel otherwise about it,

but the distraught zoo director,

after another sinkhole appeared,

requested that the road crew drive their equipment

round and round the enclosure

to see if any new holes would swallow them up.


I suppose

he felt it would be some kind of poetic justice.

Another sinkhole took Calypso Street under,

and that runs just south of the Courthouse.

It took a whole year to repair it. Some wag

from the Mayor’s office has re-dubbed it

Collapso Street, the best joke I have heard in a while.

And the same thing could happen to New Orleans.

Anyway, the Saints always stink after the first half.

Hey, why should I worry?

I always wanted a house on the water,

and the next hurricane could make my dream come true.

Anyway, I still, and always will, just love to swim!

Much Love to You-All,

Gracie

Alive, and well on Tralfamadore,

Special Thanks to Janis Joplin and Billy Pilgrim XXOOXX!

And, MLL, thank you for reminding me that the tea at the Palaz

is still very fine!

* Bayou Farewell, by Mike Tidwell (the solution)