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The Anniversary



Sara Rahai

August 29, 2006


Your anniversary

Less fierce than your birth

Has given rise to a voice

That lay dormant with despair for one year

I recall the city of my childhood

Where I placed my first immigrant steps

On a land vastly different and strange compared to my own

A land of mysterious swamps,

Wet heat

Steam boats

Fire ants

Open arms

Few rules

Torrential rains, drowning sorrows

A land so different

Accepting me as I was

Young, thin, fragile as I was 

With the warmth of its people

Sweet as sugar cane

Shades of brown and white

Pillows of beignets

Chicory laced coffee

Sensuous jazz

The scent of the Market

The lure of Mardis Gras

New Orleans

I watched as you crumbled

Your back broken

Drowning in Katrina’s rage

Your people sweet as sugar cane

Processed in the factory of death

Floating in street rivers

The old, young, white, black

Swimming in heat, thirst, hunger

With so little help

In the land of plenty

In the land of space flight vacations

In the land of Disney

In the land of Vegas

In the land that gives much and takes even more

We All let you down

And I consoled myself with my meager gift

As I sat and watched helplessly

Feeling as small as the day I stepped on your sweet land,

New Orleans!


(Arash Aria)
August  2006

For letters section
To Sara Rahai

Sara Rahai


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