By Mona Lisa Saloy
loved three families
ours was the second.
He outlived two wives,
buried them in a flow of
tears and beer
long as the Mississippi.
Mostly, I remember lots of
hugs and kisses, snuggling
next to Daddy during the
nightly news on TV after
dinner daily, or him
dancing with my dark chocolate
all night at the Autocrat Club
on St. Bernard Avenue.
On Fridays in season, we had
by the pound, oyster loaves, or
hot sausage sandwiches at Mulés
with draft beer we took home in
a stainless steel pot that
sealed like a canning jar.
Springtime brought cawain,
and daddy's expert taking of its
then gently removing the neck
purple thing of poison if burst.
hung the headless turtle, it still
for three days on the wooden fence,
its head snapped for hours in the grass.
lost a cawain, its 21 meat flavors tasting
of beef, pork, fish, and then
The turtle eggs, Mother's
youth, health, and sexy eyes,
When he shooed aunts, uncles, and
out of the kitchen, he blended
sauté and his special roux before
Big Sunday breakfasts with galait—
stove-top shortening bread—and
omelets whipped just so, to let Mother sleep late
wake us for church. he wouldn't come,
said "pray for me, and I'll get to glory."
posted 26 October 2005