Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Jack B. Bedell as Louisiana’s poet laureate in 2017; if that decision is reflective of all of his others during his time in office, he’ll go down in history as one of Louisiana’s best. This collection is a tribute to Bedell’s native South Louisiana—its culture, traditions, and landscape. A professor of English at Southeastern Louisiana University, he directs the Louisiana Literature Press.
My uncle knew nothing still
wants to be moved.
He’d captained boats most of his life,
learned this pushing barges
around the intracoastal canal
by moonlight. It’s why
he’d walk five blocks to St. Bernadette
in total darkness to wake priests
for weekday mass, why he’d stand
or kneel, but never sit
for services, every part of him
flowing and vigilant.
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