Easter in South Louisiana
by Kerri Cooke
My father dumps the mud-bugs into the salty water.
The kids pick out the floating, dead ones,
and chase each other around the lawn
with the biggest ones.
The Zydeco music, heavy on the accordion,
plays from my sister’s black Honda,
while my mom and aunt dance to it —
their faces as red as the cooked crawfish will be.
The H2O bubbles,
and the smell of red pepper and garlic
seasons my nose.
Father scalds the crawfish,
and we wait.
The dogs begin to sniff and stare
at the cooking food,
and the children complain of hunger,
while the adults pretend they are fine.
Addicting gossip revolves around the ladies,
while the men talk of
and admire each other’s cars.
After eternity, the creatures,
devoid of life,
are thrown across the table —
everyone yanks off the heads,
and peels the chitin shell.
Silence consumes the table,
as meat is devoured.
Laissez les bons temps rouler.
Kerri Cooke is a native of Louisiana and has lived there all her life. “The state has been a great inspiration on my poetry because of its unique physical and cultural landscape,” she says. She will soon graduate from McNeese State University with a degree in English and has had e a poem published in the university’s literary magazine Progress.