Thursday, February 11, 2010

Gaining Yardage (Saints & New Orleans win poem)

Gaining Yardage
By Nordette N. Adams

New Orleans,
where we have struggled
now dance
and weep in joy and leap

We have huddled,
having seen our future shimmer
in the gleam of football helmets
black and gold.
We have believed
to see our city
not drowning in canal and Pontchartrain waters,
not broken like the levees,
not shamed forever naked to the world
at woe in a storm-beaten Superdome
but lifted
high above the flooded night

We have looked at Saints
on a field in flesh.
We have prayed with saints
in the heavens.
We have persevered

Now we smile like drunkards,
loving everyone,
high not on Bourbon
(well, yes, some)
but high on hope,
everyone the same,
hugging with equal felicity
strangers and kin folk in the streets,
greeting in common tongue, "Who Dat!"

We must drink in each moment,
be in each second,
savor each breath of this sweet
victory air.

And when we again
find ourselves not
in shirts black and gold
but pitted
against each other in skins
black and white,
when we touch the ground
and see in our skins we
are not saints, but human--
blood rooted African, European,
Viet Namese, Mexican,
Creole, and Cajun--
when our halos rust
in common humid air,
may we shake off
smothering spiteful dust,
hold fast to ties that bind
and win again

© 2010 Nordette N. Adams


Naomi Johnson said...

This is beautiful. Thank you.

Reggie said...