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The Beatrice Ravenel Prize

Debra A. Daniel

 

Elegy for the City

She sang of water
often in her drowning dark,
sang blues washed solid.
She sang for rescue vessels,
her messages unanswered.

Long after liquid
had risen to her shoulders,
long after praying
had become a foregone thought,
her fingers kept blues playing.

She hummed her breathing,
breathed a silent bayou song
carried in the tide,
and with her drifting solace
gave lyric birth to dying.