On Katrina: But Evangeline is Not the Only One Who Has Waited Here in Disappointment* by Scott McDaniel

Down south, you get used to the wait. Waiting

on the funeral procession to pass before

getting back on the road. Waiting

on harvest season, on the Opry

to reinstate Hank, on the bank

to take the farm. Waiting at the Superdome

for Katrina’s black water to cede and the clear

bottled water to arrive – that took a bit.

Seemed those folks had to sit a spell before

anybody found time to hurry.

Understand this, you learn a kinda of

resolve when you wooden spoon stir

a roux for an hour. The southern

summer requires a pace

of patience that must be embraced

if you wanna glide through August’s

heat and mosquitos. So, those folks,

the dirty ones you saw on television, they

just sat there and did what we do best

down here — wait.
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*The title is a line from infamous Louisiana politician Huey P. Long’s 1928 gubernatorial campaign speech in which he references a poem by Longfellow while standing beneath the “Evangeline Oak”

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