Spring 2017

Edited by Andrea Spofford | Barry Kitterman | Amy Wright


Waveland Mississippi, An Elegy

Ösel Jessica Plante

Treaded and unlaced by the cattails the dun-
colored old sneaker lies forgotten and all 

things weighing the same in my mind it swims 

away like our home in Mississippi which 

once unfettered from slab and sky became 

part of the storm surge, because wind-blown 

water is not the same as hurricane we’d learn
when our Allstate claim was denied. Before,

we used to hang with Masey, the neighbor’s
gardener, and because I was shy and young I’d

take the mondo grass she'd give me to plant
in the too deep gully in our front yard. They’re

, she’d say, the bucket of her voice
dropping its water on me but I never planted

anything she gave. Mississippi’s always had 
something live in its mouth, but after Katrina 

I saw Masey only once as she stood by the wreckage 
of the carriage house, then went on wondering


about the stray cat I'd fed, our neighbor’s car

sat slant across our yard. To think they’d been


angry when our house was built—the metal

roof, the pergola too close to the street, now our

bathtub was in the drive. I reached beneath a fallen
wall and found a loose doorknob. Ten years later


it lies in a basket of magazines, the number ‘1’ 
from our mailbox on the toilet tank. My roommates 

don’t ask what for. I don't think about the ex-husband
or miss his Navy uniforms or pick-up truck, but from 

time to time I revisit the image of that mahogany
front door stained the color of mud. Six panes 


of glass I didn't care what the neighbors could see 
when they drove by, couldn't be bothered, not when 


the peepers grew so loud at night and the pines cracked
like knuckles in the wind, worry making me call

for the dog to come in from the yard. I'd turn off all
the lights in the house and stand watching out waiting

for the rain, the windows open an inch, knowing 
I was alone, my bare feet on the cold hard floor.


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