Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Thursday, May 7, 2015

New Madrid, Missouri, December 1990

by Andy Smart

Infants, toddlers, school-aged children but most importantly
TV and Radio outlets!
On or before if not immediately after
December 3, 1990 there will be a sizable earthquake Here,
On the New Madrid Fault that will destroy
Buildings and infrastructure for miles around possibly as far off
As Buffalo and Baltimore!
Iben Browning, Seismic Statistician and part time
Prophet declares this with a degree of certainty within one standard deviation of Capital T
Or Gospel Truth.

We not only heard but thrilled to the voice
Of the carnival barker; we flocked
To New Madrid in droves and caravans. We flooded the handful
Of restaurants, truck stops, and bars. We camped in RV’s,
We rented out rooms in old women’s houses, we waited
For The Big One to come.

It was a geologic reckoning we’d all been expecting
But none of us could’ve predicted.
The fault once made the Mississippi run backward, back
In the autumn of 1812. Now we all thought
We’d get an earthquake for Christmas. Then we’d be good
For another century or so.

But Santa didn’t bring the subterranean doomsday
Iben Browning had promised. The earth was still beneath our feet
So we finally packed up and left. The next day
An imperceptible shiver came forth
From a Fault gone cold in her loneliness—it read
Less than two on the Richter Scale.

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