No one knows who --- at home by America 's River,
whether Molly, night shift nurse in Keokuk,
whether Leon, loan officer in Vicksburg ---
have read of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.
Nor who --- among those seen fishing off the piers,
heard speaking with a Cajun accent ---
are acquainted with his social contract.
Although all --- pilots of the barges,
residents of the Victorian mansions
sitting high above the levees,
patrons of the spas,
deniers of the fouling of the waters,
of Cancer Alley in Louisiana ,
of the Dead Zone reaching far into the Gulf ---
all are made aware of its spirit in their mores,
of the obligations of citizenship
as legendary aes the willows along the banks,
as the white pelicans on the sand bars.
Nor who --- of the charismatic, the meek,
the pious, the well-meaning, the corrupt ---
instinctively probe for inferences in the clauses
allowing license, deniability, asocial opportunity.
Web Graphics and design by Smita Maitra * Background graphic by Kabir Kashyap* concept by Amrita Ghosh * Please read the disclaimer