Pia Z. Ehrhardt's fiction and non fiction.

Posts from the “Katrina” Category


Posted on September 3, 2015

I started tutoring the Moorhead sisters twice a week at their charter school on Napoleon Avenue. It was one of the first schools to open after Katrina with 319 students enrolled. The Moorhead sisters got to school by city bus. They had evacuated Katrina late – in a rainstorm – and saw the car in front of theirs drive over the spillway. Everyone in it died. Their family had lost their home and they’d relocated to a double on Elysian Fields. Their mom was an RN at Touro Infirmary, but she’d decided to open her own catering business. The sisters were both in the 7th grade because LaDell had repeated. She was quiet and serious, with a smile that tripped me up, it was…

Inpatient, Outpatient.

Posted on April 21, 2015

Not much bad health-wise had ever happened to me until my appendix burst at the end of 2011. For two and a half weeks my internist had misdiagnosed my stomach pain. She was a mild mannered thirty-something woman who took careful notes but never really looked me in the eye. Impaction? An x-ray had ruled out blockage. Diverticulitis? Ovarian cysts? There was a weird ridge on my right side that she pressed, mystified. Over those seventeen days she prescribed: Fleet enemas, laxatives, white foods, no nuts or seeds, liquids only, and a torrent of antibiotics – aimless warriors, shadow boxers – which slowed the infection but tore up my stomach. I couldn’t keep any food down. I’d lost 15 pounds. When my lab work showed…

The Owls Of Solomon Place.

Posted on September 1, 2013

In May of 2013 a great horned owl fell into our backyard while I unloaded grocery bags from my car. I froze and kept a distance. We’d been watching the family; this looked like the female. She and her mate had made a nest in the live oak behind our house, or, rather, they’d been squatting in a nest built by black crows who daily mobbed them with swoops and scolds. Babies—we counted two—had hatched. At night, one parent guarded the clutch while the other hunted in the park across the street. A red clay finial on the roof of our house served as a lookout perch, or the crooked telephone pole. The owl sighted prey, its thick head on a swivel. My husband…