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.

In one quick lick I waved my mojo hand,
made the Mississippiís muddy spine 
run crooked as a crowís 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 gatorís 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 thereís a noose aloose in the streets
looking for a neck to blame. 
But Iím just a lowly colored woman 
and ainít nobody gonna blame a worm
for scaring a catfish onto a hook.

         * originally published in Spoon River