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Photo by T Senette

Louisiana Pines

 

Gentle rolling highways through

Northwest corner, from the toes of the Ozark foothills

To the marshy toes of the boot-shaped state,

Host to cultures with unexpected wonders.

 

Acres of standing pines

Singing a river song in soft breeze,

The pounding of mechanical pumps on gulf waters

Pulling oil from primordial depths,

Singing a different song than those

Who fish the salty waters and

Chank-a-chank in a different language.

 

Pining for the old days

Before those sounds were known.

When pelicans filled the sky and

Seagulls shouted joyful finds of

Fish schools too vast to measure,

 

When Grand Isle’s shoreline was

Not yet dotted with platforms,

Christmas tree lights, and natural gas torches

Reaching thirty feet above the horizon,

 

When marshland covered itself in

Vibrant colors of migrating flocks,

Wings slapping salty humid air,

When my father and his father before

Had only one care — that day’s catch.

 

Catching now the scent of pine,

I remember his face as he retold

From childhood memory how

Plentiful our cadie once was

Before Louisianians pined.

© 2016 Bessie Adams Senette

Published by

Bessie Senette

Bessie Senette is the author of Cutting the Clouds: a Bayou Mystic’s Poems, Musings, and Imaginings – an autobiographical collection of poems and essays about the life and culture of her bayou upbringing and the spirituality that informs her traditional healing gifts. Her current work-in-progress is Louisiana Pines: Homeland Poems and Vignettes; a chapbook that poetically explores her beloved home state.

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