Blue Roof Blues

I’m a lost soul standing where my house used to be.
Said I’m lost—where the seafood place sued to be
Is nothing—no dumpster, no pilings, no speck of debris.

No Spanish moss to be found in a chain-link fence—
Instead of moss, you find sea grass woven in the fence.
In broad day, the shape of things doesn’t make sense.

Floodwaters left a stain on my shutters and doors.
On curtains and Sheetrock and shutters and doors.
The lucky ones can live up on the second floor.

There’s a crop of blue roofs in some neighborhoods.
Rebuild or abandon—it depends on the neighborhood.
For a hint of the loss, drive the length of the flood.

The blue tarps blanket rooftops where holdouts waited.
Their attics weren’t high enough, so they axed out, waited
For days, their names spelled with shoe polish just in case.

Yesterday I crossed the Mississippi to my mama’s side.
Whole way over, blue roof blue in the corner of my eye.for


Alsion Pelegrin
from her book Big Muddy River of Stars
University of Akron Press, 2007

reprinted with permission of the poet