Lower Ninth Aftermath

by angeliska on March 11, 2006

Before we left New Orleans we made a terrible sort of pilgrimage,
to the pitiful remains of what was once a neighborhood,
home after home destroyed completely, lost irrevocably.
My friend Myrtle told me not to go, but I knew I had to.
People lived and danced and slept and spoke and died here.
So many people died here.

It goes on like this for mile after mile after mile.
This destruction was not caused by hurricane force winds alone.
This is where the levee was breached at the Industrial Canal,
water rushed in here and knocked everything down.
The sun was still shining, birds singing weakly.
The grass is growing back in patches, though the ground is
soaked in poison. People wear masks now just to walk there.
Makes you want to throw your shoes away when you leave,
but they’re the only ones you have, so you wash them off and go on.
Though, surprisingly some of the old oaks survived, tough trees.
The bus stop is still there, though no bus will every come again.
Clothes hanging in the closet of a house falling in on itself.
Sodden teddybears in the road,
mud-caked and lost from their children.
Disaster tourists flocked like vultures, but why shoo them?
I’m one too, and we all need to see this – need not to forget this.
To take our images back home and show them, to you.
C’est Levee? (amazing, really.)
Last of the Ninth (an excellent article, please read)
Hurricane Autonomous Workers Collective
New Orleans Indymedia


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