Elegy for a Dream Queen

When the weather forecasters began to warn that the hurricane might take a turn up the Mississippi River, pass over our scented, magical city, then stall over Lake Ponchartrain, dumping millions of gallons of water over New Orleans, I took one look at my wife and said, "We're leaving." She was six months pregnant. So as the city hunkered into an eerie quietude, and superhuman force transformed rain into a shower of small nails, we filled up the car, locked the door, and headed off Calhoun Street out onto the freeways and ultimately across the causeway.

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