I never attended a jazz funeral
Nor watched a strip show on Bourbon Street.
I never viewed the meeting of the courts of Rex and Comus
Nor saw the Krewe of Zulu give out painted coconuts.
I never met a voodoo priestess
Nor danced the night away on the S.S. President.
I never set foot inside the Southern Yacht Club
Nor carried a hurricane from bar to bar.
But I rode the streetcar to high school
And climbed the live oaks in City Park.
I rode the Zephyr at Pontchartrain Beach
And enjoyed café au lait and beignets at Café Du Monde.
I ate breakfast at Brennan’s
And stood in line in the street for dinner at
I sat on the floor listening to jazz at Preservation
And picked boiled crabs on newspaper-covered tables.
I dressed as an Indian on Mardi Gras
And watched the parades on Canal Street.
I threw beads to the crowds from a truck
And recoiled from a flambeau dropped carelessly at my
I rode out Hurricane Betsy in a dark shelter
And thanked God that my house didn’t flood.