Natural Disasters

by David Wagoner

David Wagoner

Long ago, we had to admit, in acquisitive English
the Romans knew what they were talking about
when they made a negative out of lucky stars
by labeling some of the deadly ones disasters,
and it's in their very nature, naturally,
to be disastrous, to give even their most
distant inhabitants and poor dependents
hell now and then. Always, inevitably, as sure
as we happen to be born in the abnormal
course of events, more of them show up
at all the wrong times and places and occasions
with bad attitudes, ready to be that cave-in,
this lightning stroke, that twister, those earthquakes,
tsunamis, sudden rearrangements of shores
and mountains and half or whole continents,
and we're expected to be theirs in sickness
and health in what we've dubbed forever
and a day with stars still in our eyes
and a star-like core still burning under our feet.

Last updated August 21, 2022