Poetry Drop – Martha Serpas


Martha Serpas is from Galliano, Louisiana, and her book of poetry, The Dirty Side of the Storm, bears witness to the tragic erosion of Louisiana’s coast.  it was a beautiful book of poetry, which of course was particularly meaningful for me since I grew up in that region.  Here is my favorite poem in the book.


Reburial at Sea

Leeville Cemetary, LA


They must have heard it coming-

the relentless marsh water

throwing itself against their vaults,

salt heavy and exhausted, day

after day, the old bricks

warmed in the noon sun.

It must have sounded like regret, like

a bunkmate’s throaty breathing

getting louder and closer

as the deckhands roll from sleep.

It must have set the marsh struggling,

high tide’s long muddy arms

that lift bodies into a bath

or onto the quilted gulf.

It must have kept them company,

the persistent lapping, the slow rock down-

when one holds still, the world’s

rough motions calm into shining ripples.

They must have been comforted

that change is possible for the dead.


drops 2


7 Responses to “Poetry Drop – Martha Serpas”

  1. WOW. That gave me chills. Especially knowing someone whos body was washed away never to be found. I have to pick this book up.

  2. It’s a good read, I like poetry, you can just pick it up and put it down whenever you want. There’s no urgency like with a novel.

    I would try to get it from the library and then just copy your fav poems if you want to keep them. Books are expensive.

  3. Good idea. Thanks.

  4. I love poetry. Don’t read nearly enough of it. Will definitely be seeing if the library’s got this one. Thanks.

  5. That was great! I’m ordering the book NOW for our library! 😀

  6. I say, “buy the book.” Actually, I say buy its precursor, Cote Blanche, first. Both are worth actually owning. Cote Blanche is, for me, less tight and therefore more raw and authentic. Serpas, in her first book, also seems less caught up with death, and more with life. That makes her second, deeper, sharper, and even more mind blowing. Making them both worth having around, permanently.

    • Jim – Thanks for your comments! I agree to all those who have the means, buying the book is definitely the better option. It’s always nice to own and support poetry. I loved your recommendation and I’m gonna start looking for Cote Blanche. THANKS!

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