My grandfather was born on Frenchman
and hung his hopes on a barstool long before
despair sat on a curb behind the tavern.
The screen door was painted green and squeaked.
Crawfish on newsprint, boiled red with pop-eyes
burning black from cayenne, drew him there,
and cold Jax beer in brown bottles, with Satchmo
rupturing an old brown radio in the back room.
–excerpt from “Herstel’s” in Jumping Off the Train by Donna Pucciani (Orchard House Press, Washington 2007). First published in Freshwater.