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Anthology of Louisiana Literature

Steve Shultz (Podpoet).
“Is This My Country?”

City of my joy, city of my dreams

Under water and forgotten

Corpses floating by

Babies dying

Young and old blacks, old whites

That could be my grandmother

Dead in her wheelchair

Or my brother’s corpse

Floating in the water

A covered body floating in the water after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Sept. 5, 2005.

Singer Harry Connick, Jr., prays over two dead bodies outside the New Orleans Convention Center. Sept. 1, 2005.
AP Photo/Houston Chronicle,
Melissa Phillip.

My President is bragging about his war

Surrounded by white-clad sailors

Spending the night in the white Hotel del Coronado

While blacks, mostly blacks

Suffer and die

President George W. Bush speaks during a ceremony to commemorate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day at the Naval Air Station in San Diego, Calif., August 30, 2005.
White House photo by Paul Morse.

Hotel del Coronado
Public Domain Photo at Wikipedia.

The aid trickles in

More die by the hour

Donate to the Red Cross

I do so but feel worthless nonetheless

It is not what I can or cannot do

Do or do not do

That would save those people

It is what my society

My government

My leaders

Are able to do

They disappoint me

And I am ashamed

Of the government

Of the society

I call my own

And am part of

And am at least in part responsible for

I’ll become better than that

And settle for nothing less

From those who lead me

Goodbye New Orleans

I’ll see you again on the other side of this nightmare


Steve Shultz (Podpoet). “Is This My Country?” Hellicane. Web. 2 Sept. 2005. <http:// hellicane. blogspot. com/2005/09/ 1-is-this-my-country.html>.

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Anthology of Louisiana Literature