My Katrina Piece
When the flood waters rose They destroyed everything. They robbed children of dreams, of homes, of hope.They robbed dads and moms of direction, of hope. They robbed the city of desire, of potential, of hope.They robbed the community of community.They robbed our nation of ability to cover their eyes to hide from the illumination of the truth of what others live. The nation had been unable to see Until now When the waters came it removed the blinders – the nation saw. When the flood waters came I cried.I shook my head at the depth, the despair of what was viewed on t.v. Was really real Not a video – but real! It was personal to me. I grew up down there, I went to University down there – there was my people too. A little backward to some, silly to others but a people I understand Deeply rooted in the belief that there is something to family, to roots, to living that goes beneath and in between one’s marrow to possibly appearing a little foolish – Some see faults and some live on them. But ooohhh to never know that kind of root – means at least to me that one has never lived family – Be careful who you judge.
As the flood waters rose fear enveloped a city, a family, a community - a people lost… Seemingly left alone without help, without food, without medicine, without warmth. Not just New Orleans, Gretna, Algiers and Baton Rouge, but Pascagoula, Moss Point, Biloxi, and Gulfport, babysitting the casino boats of Trump protected,heavily & safe As the flood waters rose, I wept for the thousands of nameless human BE - ings who quickly and unbenowknst to them became known as refugees Refugees not in a strange land but a land that became strange America ---- Where they thought they lived But even refugees had tents & food & water parachuted to them from ‘copters Red - floating as if from the heaven Even refugees had toilets and diapers and medicine and a cot on which to lie down at night
Media showed some looting and some fighting and shooting All good and bad element warehoused in that dome. Without running water, toilets do NOT work. Children need comfort, need warmth, need their mothers & fathers, grandmothers & grandfathers, and sisters & brothers Babies need fresh diapers, milk and water Great relatives need their insulin & pressure medicine, Dads need to know they can provide Moms do too When the waters rose loss of hope rose higherWhen the flood waters rose hundreds of lungs filled with swampy water to drown what breath the Lord gave them and this water took that breath from them --- They floated In the city of New which became their own tomb Images once taken and preserved now became nothing but paper clumped together and discarded along with the trash, the past and the future thrown out together As the flood waters leveled off So did we Media turned it’s head Life went on and Nations turned their thoughts to what was happening in their own backyard We spent Millions to renovate the superdome, those refugees lived in.We shined it, we polished its interior & exterior and patched its roof, and carpeted with grass lined with white yard lines and sold hot buttered popcorn, cold frothy beer and giant hot dogs that cost $5 and $10 a pop Seats filled with faces of white on Monday Night Football ya’ll – with a sprinkling of color thrown in just for good measure Faces that didn’t live in the 9th, that didn’t get turned away on the
Gretna bridge, but faces that were armed tryin’ to justify and protect that justification with the same weapon they stole – it’s always different when it’s them and not us. I understand but different. They have communities, we have ghetto’s, slums, projects and of course we are all the same…leaving no room for their logic that all Johnson’s might not be all Johnson’s, all Kennedy’s ain’t Kennedy’s, Shaquanisha may not be related to Pookie an ‘nem and of course one Bush is not like the others or is they? It was a giant “come back to Jamaica commercial” come visit New Orleans, walk down the French Quarter, come to Bourbon Street, enjoy a Hurricane, eat some beniets and drink some good ole’ Café Au Lait, you see New Orleans is back –
As the flood waters receded we pray We Pray for a nation that continues to hide its people, buses its people, tears apart its people, puts off it people, into communities already lost, already stretched, already decrept Then blames those people for their inability to live, to thrive, to be grateful, to get down on bended knee and thank that nation for yet another flood of In-humaneness in its own backyard Lights, Camera Media, Censorship...Outcasts its people As the flood waters rose I hoped to see animals 2 x 2. See an old bent yet strong man standing at the entrance to a big old boat that looks like the arc of the Bible Welcoming each pair of animal, each politician – Pres. Bush/Gov. Blanco, Condoleeza/ Nagin, the US Army Corps of Engineers who mighta coulda not possibly have built that levee right?? And Anderson Cooper who knew…. As the flood waters stop and settle a white dove is then released and comes back with a green twig – Life…
As the flood waters have gone – nation remember, dare not repeat, Understand Dare not repeat – As the flood waters rose the world watched As the flood waters rose the world learned as the flood waters rose – I wept. When the waters came it removed the blinders – the nation saw or did it?