THREE POEMS by Andree Cosby

On Noticing the Gulf Breeze at Grande Isle for the First Time as a Small Child

I was the smallest frilly put to nap
at noon
in the high cotton bed
at Lointaine’s camp.

I could hear the women
in their lawn chairs below the pilings
peeling crabs and
talking French,

when a daydream
thick and fragrant as love
wafted through gauze curtains
from the Gulf of Mexico.

This is sand and wave, white as clouds, I thought.
This is salt and shells,
the wet bodies of a thousand fishes.
This is something more than me.

~~~~~~~~~~

Phosphorescent Jellyfish on Pass Christian Beach

There in the deep night,
beneath the unlikely scent of stars,
beside a barely whispering surf,
our every step glowed
with this miraculous bloom,
grains of sand singing green.

Now, as oil swarms near,
I smell their tiny translucent bodies
pumping through new thickness,
swallowing orange and brown,
their tentacles stinging black fantastic,
The softest light made silent.

~~~~~~~~~~

Crabbing in Lafitte

We never caught much
off the rickety pier.

Concrete coffins next to the bayou
whitewashed and crumbling,
the dead shaded by cypress
surrounded by dandelions
and plastic roses

clover necklaces

So bored, the transistor radio
cried, “Help!”

Chicken necks
goosebumped to white nets,
tangled to tar-pitched pilings
with riotous barnacles,
all seeped in murky mystery

hollow hulls knocking

Shrimp boats floated
by in the distance.

The few contained exotics
clicked their armor
against the tin tub,
sideways to nowhere in
their decompression chamber

no more Falstaff

We wrangled with
roadside fishermen.

Back in the suburbs
a bonfire, a cast-iron pot,
garlic, celery,
corn and red potatoes,
blue crabs and the transformation
(double space)

Barq’s root beer

The Times-Picayune table cloth
brewed Hurricane Betsy.

And red shells enveloped open,
orange eggs blossomed
as the mining began,
slivers of shells in white meat,
all of it, never enough

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Andree Cosby was born and raised in Louisiana. She currently lives in Mandeville and teachs English at Southeastern Louisiana University where she is the chairperson for LA Literati, a student creative writers group. Also, she co-founded and is a member of St. Tammany Writers Group and is a Teacher-Consultant for Southeastern Louisiana Writing Project. Her work has appeared in Roots to Brances: An Ecology of Writing and Reading, “I’m a Writer”: Essays on the The Writing Marathon and Why We Write, Through Mysterious Waters, Dandelion, Verbatim, Teaching Lives, Country Roads and others.

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