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Oil Spill on Beach 50.jpg

The Spill

Mississippi Coast Lament

Garry Breland

Garry Breland is a native Mississippian who spent much of his life out of the south. His day job is academic vice president at William Carey University, in Hattiesburg, MS. He and his wife (a college English teacher) have two children and two grandchildren.

Building, they keep one eye on the sky

The season is upon them again

The neighborhood is windrowed rubble

Here and there a new house sprouts

Among blasted oaks and concrete steps to nothing

This rebuild is slower than after Camille

Or Frederick -- most have pulled out inland

Forsaking beach views for insurability

A young woman recently apologized to me

For her name: Katrina. Who knew that a name

Could be gutted like a house that survived a tidal surge?

And now a new and cruder storm arises

From subterranean seabed depths -- Black Gold, Texas Tea -- 

Will they all have to move away from there?

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