Jolie Blond
H. Palmer Hall

"Jolie blonde, gardez donc c'est t'a fais.
Ta m'as quit-te' pour t'en aller;
Pour ton aller avec un autre que moi."

--Old Cajun song

What we found on the road were dead armadillos and
sick dogs, used condoms and cigarette butts, one
hubcap that wouldn't fit our wheel and a catalogue
left over from some old textbook we had read:

old entries from a day book used in a parish school
a Times-Picayune featuring the murder of the day
beer bottles, Jax mostly, one just-emptied Corona
a pair of black, shiny, almost new, young girl's shoes.

Something brought them all together, some meaning
waiting to be found, some riddle on an early Saturday
clues to some thing that might not have happened
some fantasy teased out of the nearby Atchafalaya River.

An old story, fabric borrowed from some fairy tale:
a young girl walking near the woods alone, a dark river,
a meeting along a road. And there is nothing left to tell.
No one finds her though they find her name next day.

In the end: a pair of shoes, panties, a lunch box.
a photograph taken in sixth grade, smiling at a camera and
finally, a meeting on a road, a chance encounter, someone
causing a brief outcry in a southern city newspaper.

girl in the river

Graphic by Kelly Morris

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