It is not the call of the Quarter,
or Jackson squared upon his stone horse,
of the smell of beignets and café au lait,
or washing down a muffaletta with
Barq’s root beer at Central Grocery,
or the lines at Felix’s Oyster Bar,
or the streetcar jerking past mansions
on St. Charles, or the food, the glorious food,
food unlike anywhere else on the planet, or
the music spilling onto Bourboned sidewalks,
or the suburban schools and shopping centers
that look like anywhere else, or the sneaking
into the ball fields at Holy Cross, or running
atop the levees of the Ninth Ward, or
the accents unlike anywhere else
and the people creoled into a human gumbo,
or the understanding that when the storm
comes form the south the winds first come
from the north.
It is none of these things.
Or perhaps it is.
My hometown faces yet another hurricane. This time, family are more secured. But the city faces yet another storm, yet another assault upon its existence. I believe it will endure. That’s because I’m a native New Orleanian, and we never knew any better.