He asked me

if there were any paintings of black people in the museum.

There’s plenty of white men and cowboys and Indians,

he said, but what

about us?

They were from New Orleans,

unwilling exiles from a flooded home.

I’m too old for this, he sighed.


with a wife and wide-eyed grandson to support,

and a slow stride.  I grew up

in the Ninth Ward, he told me.  Shook

his head as he started to walk

away.  But it’s gone now, nothing

for me to go back to.