Mais oui, dey tried to teach me

how to read back at school.

Mais book learnin’ didn’t stick wit’ me.


My mind was too stuck in the playree

Too full of shrimpin’

and huntin’

and trappin’

Dere was no room left.


I could spell “I”

and “or”

and “and”.

But once they got up to dem four-

and five-letter words, it was all over.


I just wanted to be in de playree.

Tim Melancon (pronounced Meh-lohn-son)  with Mike Tidwell (author), in Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana’s Cajun Coast (2003), Vintage Books, New York. 

Playree: marsh.

Some images of the degraded Atchafalaya Basin:

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Comment by John McCreery on December 24, 2012 at 2:09am
Lovely. And close to home. My brother has spent his non-working life playing at being a Chesapeake Bay watermen. Different place, different space, similar attitudes.


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