Deep Swamp Blues

Secon’ Sight
Mamere call it to me,
one day on de way home
from chuch.

Dat ol’ Sissy Rains,
live down on de bayoo
outside town
could talk to
Spirits, dey sed.

Use’ta  sleep widdim,
had host’a chilluns,
white’n grey haints,
could see thru ’em,
as dey play’n nobody
talk to her
she be proud’n walkin’
thru de streets,
head high’n whisper lies
follow her on home.

In hush tones,
Mamere use’ta tell dem tales
o’ Voodoo Kings’n Queens
straight from ol’ Haiti,
livin’n lovin’ oe’er dem years
Octroon’n Quadroon balls
dreamin’a N’awlins’n big city lights,
livin’ for de night’o nights.

An’ dose tales’a
voodoo wimmins stealin’ chilluns
by night’n draggin’ em
kickin’n screamin’
into de black sky, ne’er to be seen
‘gin.

Dems ‘dem deep swamp blues,
Papaw use’ta call ’em,
de silent cry’o lost souls
mixed wit’ Caimon groans’n
de chatter’o Tooloulou n’ Wowaron.

C’est la vie, he use’ta say,
chucklin’n rockin’ on de porch,
his pipe jes’a smokin’n de twilight.

“Maise, p’tit boug, fais do-do”,
Mamere use’ta sing to me
dem long ‘go nights,
coffee’n cream skin’a hers
line’n wrinkle like bedsheets
floatin’ on de wind.

Mon dreams’o
black water’n white skies’n
dose mangrove cover wit’ chadron,
de sweet lap’o waves
‘gainst Papaw’s house
lullin’ we chilluns to sleep.

Pauvre Maman, defan Papa,
Mi aime jou.
Années passées,
from your sweet son,
to you, au revoir.

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