Truth Or Consequence

My mother
Forced from her Mississippi home
Says I found her on the road
In Tennessee

My sister likes to say
Her home destroyed
Her furniture and memories
Are somewhere in the Gulf

My nephew only laughs
About the hours he spent
On the roof of his flooded home
Awaiting rescue

My godchild blusters and complains
About his Guardsman days
On duty at the SuperDome

My brother-in-law collects pictures
Of the piles of furniture, mattresses
Strapped up fridges, flooring
That decorated grayed lawns

I remember the Rolling Stones concert
I never went to
When I talked my way onto a flight
To go help my family

We bore people
All the time
I see their faces shutter
When one of us says
Katrina

But there is so little left
You see
And all of that is muddied
Drowned for days in brackish water

We know it’s tiresome
Unpretty
Ancient history
But it’s all we could save.

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