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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1012668-The-City-Of-New-Orleans---2005
by Harry
Rated: 13+ · Other · Experience · #1012668
A long, free-verse poem about New Orleans.
New Orleans, a city of jazz
and Creole cuisine, where
good times roll for tourists
and native sons alike. A port
city uniquely wonderful with
its French Quarter, riverboats,
artists, and beignets by the river.
New Orleans, a city of impending
disaster -- a city whose luck ran out.

Mighty Katrina, a category five,
wicked lady takes aim at the city,
but delivers only a glancing blow.
New Orleans is spared!
Spared the worst destruction
at the storm’s passing, until…
the 17th Street Canal levee breaks,
filling the city with waters
pouring in from Lake Ponchartrain.
Oh, the shame of it!

New Orleans now lies flooded,
its hopes drowned, with citizens
trapped and desperately in need.
More than a million fled before
the hurricane; yet hundreds of thousands
remain to be evacuated afterwards.
Some who stayed turn to violence
and looting, despicable acts by a
despicable few, scum of the city.
Oh, the shame of it!

America watches as thousands
upon thousands endure day
after day, waiting for relief that
fails to come. People suffer
and die as conditions deteriorate,
and still they do not come.
People wade through chest-deep
toxic water to islands of interstate
and safety, while others sit on their
rooftops. Tens of thousands fill the
Superdome. Corpses float in the water
and lie unattended in the streets.
The survivors feel angry and
abandoned as they wait in the
stench and filth in sultry heat.
Where are those in charge?
Oh, the shame of it!

Finally evacuated, the city lies
wounded, empty and flooded.
Its streets are deserted, save for
police, troopers, and soldiers.
The dead are gathered. No time
for mourning. There are levees
to be repaired; water to be pumped
from the stricken lady. Plans for
reclaiming the city are underway.
New Orleans shall return to her
place of honor as a premier
American city … and sooner
than originally thought possible.
Katrina could not drown her spirit!

New Orleans, I long to hear your
jazz floating in the nighttime air
soon again, to eat my fill of
your gumbo, jambalaya, oysters,
and blackened redfish, to sit
by the river and watch the barges
plying the mighty Mississippi,
and to know that Mardi Gras
once again beats as your heart.
God speed, New Orleans!

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© Copyright 2005 Harry (harryg at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/1012668-The-City-Of-New-Orleans---2005