Chris Tusa
  Lone Willow Press, 2002

Marie Laveau Talks about Magic

Marie Laveau, a colored woman who eventually became known as the Voodoo Queen of New Orleans, often used her knowledge of Voodoo to manipulate and acquire power. --Enigma

In one quick lick I waved my mojo hand,
made the Mississippi’s muddy spine
run crooked as a crow’s foot,
scared politicians into my pocket
with lizard tongues and buzzard bones,
convinced the governor to sing my name
under a sharp crescent moon
white as a gator’s tooth.

Now my magic got the whole Vieux Carré
waltzing with redfish and rooster heads,
got Protestants blessing okra and cayenne,
Catholics chasing black cats down Dumaine,
even got Creoles two-stepping with pythons
along the banks of Bayou St. John.

They say soon my powers gonna fade,
that there’s a noose aloose in the streets
looking for a neck to blame.
But I’m just a lowly colored woman
and ain’t nobody gonna blame a worm
for scaring a catfish onto a hook.

--originally published in Spoon River

Chris Tusa

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