You Can Never Go Home Again
I am in a fog. The whole world is in a fog. All I do is call insurance people, talk on the phone to the carpet place and the bricklayer, look in the bricks of my house for some crack, some flaw I may have missed. It's taking longer and longer, and the house is so different (ok, updated) that it seems strange to me. I can't believe we ever used to live there. And of course everyone is worse off than I am. My brother is demolishing his house. The adjustor isn't even gping to look at it. She called him on the phone and settled with him for the maximum payment on dwelling and contents. That's the case in his whole Lakeview neighborhood. And as bad as that sounds, there are others even worse off. My mother's home is beginning to look more and more unfixable. Every day in the paper they run the life story of some one who died as a result of the storm. The one I read yesterday was about an elderly woman and her brain damaged son in Chalmette. She couldn't lift the man, and was waiting for an ambulance to assist them, as had always been the case in the past. Only the ambulance never came, and they never got out. When the coronoer finally got to them they found motherand son in bed--her arm draped over him.
We'll get back home, that's a fact. But will we ever BE home? My whole city--all of my family and childhood, every landmark I ever smiled in front of, every restaurant, bakery, coffee shop--all of these things are changed. My family is broken up. There is trash everywhere. I just can't believe that it will be decade, or even longer. What am I going to write poems again. When?