Sarah Palin Should Have Mentioned Gustav…..

and its survivors across the wide swath of Louisiana which has been tortured by the devastation he left behind. Saying in last night’s speech that she stands behind our fellow citizens in the area would only have been right–especially were she to have called upon other Americans to donate to the Red Cross as has Obama. (Link below the fold).

Now for the “meat”–following is a poem I’ve written to commemorate the third anniversary of Katrina and the federal flood. It is in the voice of the mother of 8-year-old and 9-year-old boys who have a disabled grandmother. While it is fiction, it’s based on things people actually went through during Katrina and flood and in the aftermath.

8/29/05 And 8/29/08

Now we’re on a bus heading who knows where

anxiously awaiting Gustav–nervously

wondering what will be there when

we get back–and when we can–memories of

the flood–wounds still raw–tearing us apart.

Those who weren’t here would say about us–

we’d been warned Katrina’d come–so what

happened was our fault–but we couldn’t

leave–no car, no bus–and besides we’d

thought we’d known for years our levees

would keep us safe–but they didn’t–I

woke early that morning–sensed something

wasn’t right–smelled shit, piss, vomit,

gas–other bad things I couldn’t name–

maybe even death itself–I heard the

rushing water–got out of bed–it was

already up to my knees–and still

quickly rising–shook Noah, Jonah

awake shouting “Get upstairs–NOW!”–

Saw to Grandma ‘Becca–their daddy’s

mother–diabetes had robbed her of her

legs–we couldn’t afford to buy her

new ones–I thanked the Lord I had

the strength to carry her–then

brought up her chair, insulin and

other meds–started going back for

food–but foul water was coming close

to the attic–found the ax I’d kept

there–cut a hole in the roof as the

boys made a flag–then each of them

and I took turns going out to wave

it–minutes turned to hours–we saw

helicopters but they didn’t see us–

I’d check on ‘Becca and give her her

shots and pills–it was sweltering and

I could tell that she wasn’t doing

very well–and silently prayed the

Lord would see her through and that

we all be rescued–we were all hungry

and thirsty–rescue finally arrived–

asked me who all was there–“My sons

and their grandma–she’s in a bad way,

you see–here’s her insulin and all

the other stuff she needs.”–they

took her and the boys–but not

enough room with others abroad so

they had to leave me–at first I

thanked the Lord ‘Becca had been

rescued–and didn’t worry thinking

the helicopter would be back soon

and that ‘Becca and the boys were

going to be cared for–but it got to

be two long days before anyone came–

my city was gone–this brought tears

to my eyes–I just couldn’t stop crying–

my neighborhood and much more under

water–wondering what had become of my

Mom, Dad, and sisters–had they gotten

out OK or drowned–and what about other

family, my friends, my church, the boy’s

school, stores, my beauty shop–everyone

and everything else I’d known?–I just

couldn’t believe what had happened to

my city, my home–where I’ve lived all

my life–I think I cried the whole trip

but then put myself together–they were

dropping me off on the overpass and

now I had to find ‘Becca and the boys–

I first went to the Dome–but a guard

there told me it I couldn’t go in.

“Well, do you remember a sick elderly

lady without legs, in a wheelchair–and

two boys–they’re eight and nine?”–“No,

Ma’am,” he said–“I’m sure I’d have seen ’em

had they got here on my watch.”–then I

asked for food and water ’cause I hadn’t

eaten for at least a week–he said they

didn’t have any I could have–then said

I should go to the Convention Center–so

I did–on the way there was a store

where folks were taking what they needed

to survive–and I went in to see what I

could find–slim pickin’s–hardly any

food left–but I was grateful for what

I could find–and at the same time

felt badly for having done what I’d

needed to do–so I left a note by the

register saying sometime I’d come back

and pay for what I took–finally I got

to the Convention Center where I was

turned off by the funk–in the crowds

I asked almost everyone I saw–“Have

you seen a sick older lady without

legs in a wheelchair and two school-

age boys?”–finally one man said, “I

think I seen ’em”–then took me to the

front wall of the Center where I saw

Noah and Jonah looking rather well–

aside from what they’d gone through–

but ‘Becca’s slumped over in her chair

covered in a blanket–each boy gives

me a silent hug–and Noah, on the

verge of tears, said, “She’s gone–she

passed last night–nobody would give

her her shots or anything.”–for the

second time I broke down–now only

had she been a wonderful grandma to

Noah and Jonah, she’d been like another

mother to me–soon after that was our

exile to Houston–now it’s three years

later–I wish I could say our life is

cool–but both Noah and Jonah have

been having trouble in school–we’ve

all had nightmares, flashbacks–I’ve

nerves, low energy, feel very down–

overwhelmed–if I didn’t know I need

to stay strong for the boys, I don’t

know what I’d do–but I don’t mean to

totally cry the blues–the good thing

in our life is we’re back in NOLA–and

we’ve a home–now, it’s with one of my

sisters and her remaining kids and gets

crowded–but I’m grateful we’re not in

Houston where we just couldn’t fit in

and got homesick rather fast–or

homeless–and though I’m saddened by

some things I see in this city–there

are other signs we’re keepin’ on

keepin’ on in spite of everything–

those small baby steps NOLA’s making

to come back–and today I pray

that we’ll be able to return home

soon as now we’re on the bus heading

who knows where anxiously awaiting

Gustav–nervously wondering what will be

there when we get back–and when we can….

Now for more about Gustav and related issues: dizzydean has posted an excellent, informative series on what Houma and the Chitimacha tribes have been going through in the wake of Gustav–a story which, with 24/7 coverage of Sarah Palin and the convention, the MSM have missed entirely.

Last but not least, here are a couple of places to donate towards hurricane relief:

Network for Good. Or, as Barack Obama suggests, donate to the

Red Cross. Give what you can–but give. No amount will be too small. Thanks!