The Ghost of Blind Willie McTell

The Ghost of Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie walks,
guitar strap digging into his shoulder,
swamp rose between his teeth,
where the wetlands disappear
day after day;
where the Mississippi marshland
sheltered New Orleans from the Gulf;
the Great Firs and Slash Pines
used to fight and blunt
those hurricane dagger winds,
the marsh grasses nipped at the storms’ ankles,
brought them to their knees
and took the brunt.

Blind Willie walks
with the ghost of Katrina by his side
and Stella strapped to his back;
with a swamp rose between his teeth
they hitch a ride in the Mississippi Delta.

Willie mctells Katrina: It ain’t easy,
she replies: Ain’t that the truth,
mctells Katrina: I’m a feelin’ sorry for these here folk,
Katrina says: Ah, shuddup, Willie, and play the blues.


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