Sunday, May 13, 2007

Our Lady Of The Driveway - Part 2


Thanks to Athenae at First Draft for the photo and the title. She took this picture when she was in New Orleans at the end of March, when a group of us led by FD bloggers, Athenae and Scout Prime, gathered to gut a house, view the destruction, and squeeze in a little fun.

The statue of the Virgin Mary stood in a driveway. The head was broken off, but someone had put it back in place. The photo and the title struck me with such force when I first saw it that I have never forgotten it. The image of the statue of Mary in the driveway - "Mary, full of grace" as Athenae calls her - was the symbol of my destroyed and broken home town, my abandoned city, my beloved New Orleans - always full of grace to me.

Our Lady Of The Driveway

O Mary of the Driveway,
Broken like your city,
Your head lies on the ground.
A sorry sight, a sign,
A sign of devastation
Wrought by wind and water,
Angry blow and raging flow.

A passer-by, one of tender heart,
Sees and stops and mourns your head
Lying there apart,
And gently, gently takes it
And replaces it.
There. Our Lady's whole again.
Or so it seems. Or is it so?

June Butler - 5-13-07

As hurricane season rapidly approaches, the levees in New Orleans are not properly fixed; the newly installed pumps are inadequate and many don't work. I know that New Orleans is not safer than before Katrina and the levee failures. I'm not an engineer, and I could be wrong, but, from what I've read of what's been done and what's been left undone in the 19 months since the disaster, the city could possibly be less safe than before Katrina.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.