Upham's Corner Online

Poem Dedicated to the Victims and Survivors of Hurricane Katrina, August 2005


Hurricane Katrina - Seven Years Ago Today

Hurricane Katrina 2005 August 29, 2005 was the day that America suffered, not just New Orleans, but the nation as a whole as we discovered over time the inadequacies of the Federal Government's Emergency Management Agency and the depths of depravity demonstrated by the Police Department in New Orleans. 

People not only suffered at the "hand" of natural forces gone wild but also at the hands of other humans who fall to to a state of unnatural behavior.

Yet, disaster in the form of 1800 people dying and hundreds of thousands of people leaving their lives and homes behind has turned to creative responses in the form of literature, film, art and human kindness.

Image courtesy Wikipedia

Some of the better known artistic responses include:
  • Spike Lee's "When the Levees Broke:  A Requiem in Four Acts (2006)
  • The sequel:  If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise (2010)
  • Trouble the Water, film by Tia Lessin and Carl Deal
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild - Benh Zeitlin (director)

Featuring Robby Anton Thomas

Robby A Thomas
From the Greater Uphams Corner area, Robby Anton Thomas brings us his poem, "A Woman's Wrath," dedicated to the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina - August, 2005.  

Mr. Thomas is Adjunct Instructor at Urban College of Boston and a Contributing Editor and Columnist for RHEMA Magazine. 
Contact him at robby_thomas05@yahoo.com   

A Woman’s Wrath

They say seeing is believing;
And even though I saw it,
I still didn’t believe it.
This strange woman came into New Orleans;
With chaotic force;
She blew the doors off its hinges.
She opened her mouth till you could
Smell the stench of her breath.
Her arms flayed about like a giant whirl-wind;
tossing objects around in a manner.
that defied comprehension and gravity;
Damn!!! she was angry!
But why?
Did I even deserve this?

She was so angry - she threw-up for days.
She was the diva of destruct - and that she did.
Her persuasion intensified as she swayed
our conversation toward her acuity on baptism,
being born of the water.
With un-yieldingly vulgarity,
she implicitly retorted to my resilience…my buoyancy.

Boisterously she bellowed;
“are you born of the water or of the spirit?”
I responded, “was this a question of life and death”
She answered, “this is death, hell and the grave”.
I realized then…I was in for the long haul.
I tried to remember every biblical reference I could,
to help me survive;
Moses and the Red Sea;
Daniel in the lion’s den;
The fiery furnace;
Job… lost everything;
The Lord is or was my Shepherd....
Wade in the water!
I mean I was digging deep!
I had no idea, that at that very moment,
My world would forever change;
and the world as I understood it,
would never ever be the same.
It took days for her to calm down, but she did.

After she left;
I was traumatized,
perhaps even hallucinating,
‘cause it seemed like folk were either
walking in or just floating on water.
Broken levy- mass baptism gone wrong,
For that day “Wading in the water,”
was more about losing faith than finding it,
less about a song rooted in salvation.
more about a savior who never came.
I wanted no part of this Red Sea,
or the blood that covered it.
I since made my peace with Katrina,
but I never want to see her again.
For the most part, no one I know,
ever wants to see that woman again.

Dedicated to the victims and survivors of Hurricane Katrina, of August, 2005

Posted: August 29, 2012     Nancy J Conrad


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