it’s my fault

it’s my fault that Baton Rouge is underwater

the gulf rises up, the river spreads out

calling me reaching for me

saying my name

underwater daughter

it’s my fault because i ran away from home

because i left my people to drown when

tender levees gave way to the sea that

i love and loves me

have you ever seen a tall orange tree dressed in cheerful baubles

drink from them dirt and water laughs now inside you

swampy crickets chanting as water rises silently

please dear god of bayou bless them

keep babies and hound dogs safe

my mother and mother’s mother

the dark wise face of my father’s father

i am the vessel of all their mistakes

it is my fault

when the water recedes the city people

will ask why they go back

as if Louisianans are deluded

battered wives returning to

abuse that tastes like love

they don’t ask this of Cape Codders

if the gulf was calling you in the night

moss gowned oaks whispering

you would go back too

you would know it was your fault

you would never leave


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