Jude Meche 

 

CATAHOULA



This is the poem
            about my dog, a
shivering remnant of
            obedient
mongrelization, a
 
linguistic conundrum:
purebred cur,
 
legitimizing a
 
bastard
 
            heritage of
Choctaw stock,
            Iberian leftovers
and something from
the French
nurtured by gombo, then
adopted by
adapted by
Acadian settlers.
 
They say Bedouins
take their horses
in tent,
house them as honored
family, see
them as extensions of
personal ego.
 
We throw ourselves out
            instead sleep on
 
the ground:             dig bones and
hunt in
unformed coordination
for broken
phrases to house
something more coherent
 
than motley but

less than kind.




ORACLE



It is not what we think of
when we mouth the word,
does not merit the
syllabic effort or the
orison of arched lips
that begin it. They
insist on the monosyllabic.
Well. And leave it
enough alone.

They never assumed
it would deliver a message,
say their foundation
had sluiced downstream,
their house about to fall.

Besides, Delphi veiled truth
with a cryptic flourish.
On the other hand, what
could be more clear
than the cold and smooth
freckled body:
a young catfish circling
a bucket, rising
from the dark, to deliver
messages from the underworld.

The river has undercut
you. What cannot
fit between shoulders will
be lost.






©2005 Judy Meche

Jude Meche is a Louisiana native and is currently an assistant professor of English at Missouri Southern State University.