9th ward blues... pt. 2


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((.click.for.audio.))

the city that eats its young
swallowed by tears of rage…

water
everywhere
water
that chokes streets and throats
water
that reminds us

and they said
dryness shall come in early October
and they said
God was unhappy with man
and so he flooded the earth
40 days and 40 nights
of water
everywhere

but this time
the ark was late
and so they traveled
two by two
by two by two
through holes chopped into attics
on ropes
hanging from helicopters
and atop anything that would float

in the 9th ward
where streets named Independence and Piety,
streets named Desire
are all crossed by Law
the 9th ward
where national guard
once accompanied Ruby Bridges to school

but who
will help the children now
their blues are sung
throughout the nation
and our president’s mother
says they are better off

but
under a Denver moon
Javan cries to a stuffed dog
because it is all he has left
and the Coles are in Houston
but
Ronald and Kevin are missing
and wherever they are
I hope
I hope
I hope someone knows that
Ronald gets scared by loud noises
and
Kevin needs his medication
and Nicole
your babies are safe in San Antonio
Troy, Eugene is there too
I pray somehow their messages reach you.

the Big Easy
where life for most is not
I remember loving
strings of beads suspended
from trees along St. Charles
I was tempted by your mysteries
but the face hidden behind the mask
was grotesque and deformed

New Orleans
your secrets are now broadcast
on the nightly news
there are bodies still in the street
people stealing to survive
the babies are still crying
parents missing
the bricks still trap those
who cannot leave
and help still arrives too late
all over again

all over again
Nagin is cursing about injustice
the people
screaming
about being ignored
interests vested elsewhere
while our backyard lies in ruin
and help
still arrives too late
all over again

in New Orleans
where streets were putrid
and
air was stagnant
long before the levees broke
where harsh reality hides behind
mardi gras smiles shellacked on faces
that have yet to know better days
where les bon temps
don’t roule
for those you do not see
and the second line can’t roll
because there are too many to mourn

America
our children are crying
singing the 9th wards blues
from California to Carolina
from the jungles to the swats
the Delta to the Rio Grande Valley
the 3rd ward
still looks the same
whether its in New Orleans or Houston

and everywhere the children are crying
their voices echoing from deep within the bowels
of places we try to ignore
our future
has tear-stained cheeks
and
distended bellies
and
dreams locked away
in hearts that slowly turn cold
and this
THIS
is the real national disaster
that should bring us to our knees
these blues
that are sung to a deaf audience
these blues
that should reach into the hearts
of each and every one of us
we are fools
to think their pain is not our own
fools
to think these problems
do not concern us.

and everywhere the children are crying.
can we hear them now?
and will now
be the time
when we finally listen?


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2 Responses to “9th ward blues... pt. 2”

  1. Anonymous mitch aka Army of Pharoahs 

    Hey Alisson, this poem is...it just is...this literally is the most touching piece i've read since the first time i read a dream defered...it wouldnt be enough to take my hat off to u so i will scalp myself to further show my appreciation... keep writing, it helps some people through their day...

    later...

    p.s. i sent it to my mom in houston, she said she cried and 2 tell u nice writing...

    peace & happiness...~1~

  2. Blogger miss.a 

    mitch you never fail to make me smile. tanks m'dear. and to your mommy too. ***

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