Leaving New Orleans

by Eileen Brener

Say goodbye to sweet olive
tree-scented doorways,
to a tall camellia, a twig
planted for crimson
December blossoms,
to rainbowed tender sunlight
after biblical summer storms.

Goodbye to Sazeracs, go-cups,
two-stepping down Prytania
Street with the hallowed
Saint Aug marching band,
to a Carnival box: pink boas,
yellow sequined satin pants,
Pocahontas, E.T., Tricky Dick,
feather vests, all stained—
beer, blood, grass, wine.

Goodbye to dirge and jazz
funeral feasts, to holy
days and holidays
toasting Saint Joseph,
Satchmo and Huey P. Long.
Don’t look back—
the crepe myrtles’
lacy lavender arms
wave adieu, adieu.

Eileen Brener started writing poetry a few semesters ago in Sarah White’s study group and couldn’t resist responding to the optional prompt given each week for a poem based on our class readings.