Five Whole Days (After Hurricane Katrina)


Hellicane: Poets Respond to Hurricane Katrina

Five whole days we had five big breaks\r\nThe kind that turned our streets into lakes\r\nMother, father, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, son and daughter\r\nhad to break through their attics to escape the rising water\r\n\r\nFive whole days we\'ve been in near 100 degree heat\r\nwith no running water and hardly anything to eat\r\nNo lights, no phone, no motor car. Not a single luxury\r\nLike Robinson Cruisoe as primative as can be\r\n\r\nFive whole days we heard babies crying\r\nthen at every turn we saw people dying\r\nAin\'t took a bath, brushed our teeth nor our hair\r\neveryday wore the same clothes and the same underwear.\r\n\r\nFive whole days we fussed and cussed\r\nit even brought out the worst in us\r\nThere were whites who were shooting\r\nat Blacks they claimed to be looting\r\nBut when they do the same thing, it\'s called \"surviving\"\r\nWho the %?..@ they think they fooling?\r\n\r\nFive whole days we were catching hell all around\r\nall of these choppers flying, not one of them came down\r\nWe\'ve seen army trucks and air boats come around our hood\r\nThey had no food or water to give and that ain\'t good\r\n\r\nFive whole days many of us from this city\r\nbelieve that the rich elites had been trying to get Blacks out since\r\nthe 1960\'s\r\nFor years they said the levees couldn\'t hold up to this\r\nyet, they were waiting for them to break. It\'s no wonder we\'re pissed\r\n\r\nFive whole days, how long will it take\r\nfor us to hear horror stories about children getting raped\r\nThe Convention Center was a mess. The Superdome was a death trap\r\nAll of the crime in the old St. Thomas and Desire Projects couldn\'t\r\ntouch that\r\n\r\nFive whole days were days that shouldn\'t have been\r\nOur leaders were clueless and didn\'t know where to begin\r\nIt\'s been forty years since Betsy when my sister had drowned\r\nAnd, after all this time, there was no clear plan when Katrina came\r\naround?\r\n\r\nFive whole days were the worst five days\r\nSomething shoulda been set up in the first five days\r\nAll of those busses and trains, boats and planes\r\nThey were left to sit through strong winds and heavy rains\r\n\r\nWhen we were evacuated after those five days of madness\r\nWe went through a lot of pain, suffering, grief and sadness\r\nEverything we had was washed away and destroyed\r\nThis was one disaster that was hard to avoid\r\n\r\nAfter those five days, we were just about everywhere\r\nBut our families were separated and we can\'t find them anywhere\r\nWe don\'t know where they are, we don\'t know if they had survived\r\nwe\'re just hoping to see or hear from them again and we prayed that\r\nthey have not died\r\n\r\nMany of us got good news, others bad\r\nSome of us were happy, while others were sad\r\nWe tried to call by cell phone and other means of communication\r\ntrying to keep in touch after all of this death and devastation\r\n\r\nFive whole days was a learning experience\r\nletting us know right there and then\r\nnever to put your faith in an arrogant and clueless government\r\nor those who claimed to be your friend\r\n\r\nIf anything, we must thank God (Allah, Jehovah or any other divine\r\nname) that we\'re here today\r\nEven though Katrina came in and took our homes, cars and lives away\r\nEverything we had is gone, except our spirits\r\nand it\'s ringing louder and stronger than any hardcore rap lyric\r\n\r\nWhile we are trying to rebuild our lives for the better\r\nWe should take time out to pray for those who are still trying to get\r\ntheir lives together\r\nThe Lord is our savior and to him we should pray\r\nand thank him for getting us through those Five Whole Days



“Five Whole Days (After Hurricane Katrina),” Hurricane Digital Memory Bank, accessed July 22, 2024,