To the Recruitment Office of the West St. Tammany Parish KKK

Martin Luther King Day, 2016

All those baggies

filled with sand

and open invitations

to the brotherhood

of Loyal White Knights–

they’ve been erased.

Your labor’s undone. Confiscated.

Lily-livered, anonymous,

hooded ones, sneaking around

at the snail’s hour—at least

snails set down filigree trails.

You cruise country roads

laying the bricks of hate.

One per house, as far

as I walked with the dog.

Discarding your handiwork

would have been too easy,

so I repurposed the leaflets

into origami cranes.

I brought them to the Bogue Falaya

and set them sailing

past the cypress trees,

harmless and pure as doves.




Alison Pelegrin is the author of four poetry collections, most recently Waterlines (LSU Press, forthcoming 2016), as well as Hurricane Party (2011) and Big Muddy River of Stars (2007), both with the University of Akron Press. She is the recipient of creative writing fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts and the Louisiana Division of the Arts, and her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry, Ploughshares, Poetry Daily, The Cincinnati Review, and The Southern Review. She teaches English at Southeastern Louisiana University.